Once your slide show is complete, you’ll need to learn how to present it to an audience. PowerPoint offers several tools and features to help make your presentation smooth, engaging, and professional.
Presenting a slide show
Before you present your slide show, you’ll need to think about the type of equipment that will be available for your presentation. Many presenters use projectors during presentations, so you might want to consider using one as well. This allows you to control and preview slides on one monitor while presenting them to an audience on another screen.
To start a slide show:
There are several ways you can begin your presentation:
Click the Start From Beginning command on the Quick Access Toolbar, or press the F5 key at the top of your keyboard. The presentation will appear in full-screen mode.
Select the Slide Show view command at the bottom of the PowerPoint window to begin a presentation from the current slide.
Go to the Slide Show tab on the Ribbon to access even more options. From here, you can start the presentation from the current slide and access advanced presentation options.
To advance and reverse slides:
You can advance to the next slide by clicking your mouse or pressing the spacebar on your keyboard. Alternatively, you can use or arrow keys on your keyboard to move forward or backward through the presentation.
You can also hover your mouse over the bottom-left and click the arrows to move forward or backward.
To stop a slide show:
You can exit presentation mode by pressing the Esc key on your keyboard. Alternatively, you can click the Slide Show Options button in the bottom-left and select End Show.
The presentation will also end after the last slide. You can click the mouse or press the spacebar to return to Normal view.
Presentation tools and features
PowerPoint provides convenient tools you can use while presenting your slide show. For example, you can change your mouse pointer to a pen or highlighter to draw attention to items in your slides. In addition, you can jump around to slides in your presentation or access other programs from your taskbar if needed.
To show the taskbar:
Sometimes you may need to access the Internet or other files and programs on your computer during your presentation. PowerPoint allows you to access your taskbar without ending the presentation.
Locate and select the Slide Options button in the bottom-left corner.
Select Screen, then click Show Taskbar.
Your taskbar will appear. Choose a program you want to open, such as a web browser. When you’re done, close the window or click the PowerPoint icon on the taskbar to return to the presentation.
You can also access any of the menu items above by right-clicking anywhere on the screen during your slide show.
To skip to a nonadjacent slide:
You can jump to slides out of order if needed.
Locate and select the See All Slides button in the bottom-left corner.
Thumbnail versions of each slide will appear. Select the slide you want to jump to.
The selected slide will appear.
To access drawing tools:
Your mouse pointer can act as pen or highlighter to draw attention to items in your slides.
Locate and select the Pen Tools button in the bottom-left corner.
Select Pen or Highlighter based on your preference. You can also choose a different color from the menu.
Click and drag the mouse to mark your slides. You can also press Ctrl+P on your keyboard to access the pen tool while presenting your slide show.
You can also use the laser pointer feature to draw attention to certain parts of your slide. Unlike the pen and highlighter, the laser pointer will not leave markings on your slides. To use the laser pointer, select it from Pen Tools, or press and hold the Ctrl key and the left mouse button.
To erase ink markings:
Locate and select the Pen Tools button in the bottom-left corner.
Select Eraser to erase individual ink markings, or select Erase All Ink on Slide to erase all markings.
When you end a slide show, you’ll also have the option to Keep or Discard any ink annotations made during your presentation. If you keep ink markings, they’ll appear as objects on your slides in Normal view.
If you’re presenting your slide show with a second display—like a projector—you can use Presenter view. Presenter view gives you access to a special set of controls on your screen that the audience won’t see, allowing you to easily reference slide notes, preview the upcoming slide, and much more.
To access Presenter view:
Start your slide show as you normally would, then click the Slide Options button and select Presenter View. Alternatively, you can press Alt+F5 on your keyboard to start the slide show in Presenter view.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn more about using Presenter view.
1. Show Taskbar: Click here to show the taskbar and access other programs without closing the presentation.
2. Display Settings: From here, you can customize your display settings, including the option to duplicate—or mirror—the slide show on two screens and swap the monitors if Presenter view is appearing on the wrong screen.
3. End Slide Show: Click here to end the presentation.
4. Timer: Here, you can see how long you’ve been giving the presentation. You can also pause and restart the timer if necessary.
5. Current Slide: This is the current slide being shown to the audience.
6. Slide Options: Here, you can access the same slide options you would find in normal presentation mode, including the Pen Tools and See All Slides buttons.
7. Advance and Reverse Slides: Use the arrows to move forward and backward through your presentation.
8. Next Slide: Here, you can preview the next slide that will appear in the presentation.
9. Notes Pane: Here, you’ll see any speaker notes for the current slide. You can use the Increase and Decrease buttons below to make the notes larger or smaller.
Slide show setup options
PowerPoint has various options for setting up and playing a slide show. For example, you can set up an unattended presentation that can be displayed at a kiosk and make your slide show repeat with continuous looping.
To access slide show setup options:
Select the Slide Show tab, then click the Set Up Slide Show command.
The Set Up Show dialog box will appear. From here, you can select the desired options for your presentation.
Learn about various options for setting up and playing a slide show.
1. Show Type: Here, you can choose a show type.
2. Show Options: Here, you choose playback settings and disable certain features if desired.
3. Show Slides: Here, you can choose which slides you want to show during the presentation.
All is selected by default, but you can choose to show only certain slides or use any custom shows you have created from your original presentation.
4. Advance Slides: If you have set timings in your slide show, they will play automatically. However, if you want to disable the timings and control the slides yourself, select Manually.
5. Multiple Monitors: If you have more than one monitor, you can choose which one to display the slide show on. It’s usually best to leave this setting on Automatic.
To advance slides automatically, you’ll need to customize the slide timing on the Transitions tab. Review our lesson on Applying Transitions to learn how.