Orientation 3: Presenter View in PowerPoint


Keeping an overview as speaker

This is now the third blog entry on the subject of orientation. Because orientation really is important! We’re focusing again on your security and orientation as the person standing up front and speaking. The more authoritative, confident and relaxed you appear, the more credible and interesting you will come across.

Er… where was I?

It’s easy to lose the thread. Perhaps you got carried away, or were interrupted by a question or a short discussion. Then you lost track of the time. Suddenly you see out of the corner of your eye someone indicating that it’s time to wind up. And you haven’t even got to your main message. Or maybe you were simply a bit nervous, and forgot what you wanted to say at one key point in your presentation. This can happen to the best speakers.

The speaker’s trick

speakers trick

PowerPoint’s so-called Presenter View is there to help you with orientation and security. The audience see just your slides, but you, and you alone, see everything:

  • The slide currently being shown
  • A preview of the next slide
  • Your notes and keywords, next to the slide being shown
  • The time elapsed since you began.

You can also use the pen and highlighter tools to annotate your slides as you speak. Or jump forwards and backwards to particular slides, even skip slides altogether (this feature of Presenter View has been considerably improved in PowerPoint 2013). If time is getting short, you might decide to leave out some less-important point. Or you might want to remind the audience of something on an earlier slide. With Presenter View, all this is child’s play.

Speaker orientation in PowerPoint has never been easier

  • Extending the display: In order to use Presenter View, ensure that your computer is correctly set up for multiple displays. Right-click on the desktop, choose ‘Screen Resolution’ and then under ‘Multiple displays’ chose the option ‘Extend these displays’. If you just duplicate the display, Presenter View will not work, as you then only really have one screen.
  • Activate Presenter View: In the PowerPoint ‘Slide Show’ tab, check ‘Use Presenter View’. All done. If you like, you can click the ‘Set Up Slide Show’ button to make further adjustments.
  • Starting the Slide Show: Start the Slide Show. If the monitors have been swapped, you can change this using the menu above the checkbox ‘Use Presenter View’.

Now you, the speaker, can see everything you need on your laptop screen, and the audience sees only the current slide via the beamer. What a relief. The part of your brain that’s always been preoccupied with these things is now free to focus on your presentation and the interaction with your audience. You can concentrate better on your material. And keep an eye on the time. The security you gain from this tool puts you at your ease and loosens you up. Watch out for more loosening-up exercises in future blog entries.


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