Weekly quickTIP

PowerPresenter with PowerPoint

PowerPoint slideshows can be a snoozer -- it's time to return them to awe-inspiring.

Being a regular speaker at IT events and conferences all over the country, I make regular use of Microsoft PowerPoint. In the wrong hands, that presentation tool can be a real snooze. But with well-designed slides and a larger-than-life demeanor, it makes the process of standing in front of audiences a breeze.

You see, there’s one key skill to being a power presenter in front of audiences: You absolutely must master your transitions. Being able to smoothly transition your audience from one slide to another at the point of clicking the Next button is one of the key skills that separate the regular men from the PowerPresenters.

After years of speaking in front of PowerPoint, doing just that has always been challenging for me. One thing I’ve always hated about its default Slide Show view was that I could never see my notes, nor the slides immediately before or after the one on the screen. Not knowing what was coming up, the only way to get those transitions tight was to essentially memorize the entire deck. That involves a lot of brain power.

Although this feature has apparently been around in PowerPoint since 2000, I just discovered it for the first time a few weeks ago. Holy cow! In PowerPoint 2007, if you click the Slide Show tab at the top and check the box for Use Presenter View, Slide Show view now brings a whole new situational awareness when it comes to seeing your slide decks.

By enabling Use Presenter View, my laptop sees a different view than does the projector. The projector shows just the slide, which is what I want everyone to see. But my laptop’s view now changes to show me the current slide, a running filmstrip of the slides before and after the slide I’m currently on, as well as any notes I’ve got attached to that particular slide.

No more rote memorization for me -- just smooth-as-butter transitions. So, enjoy the little tip. I hope it and Presenter View join to make your next presentation a truly memorable one. Break a leg!

About the Author

Greg Shields is Author Evangelist with PluralSight, and is a globally-recognized expert on systems management, virtualization, and cloud technologies. A multiple-year recipient of the Microsoft MVP, VMware vExpert, and Citrix CTP awards, Greg is a contributing editor for Redmond Magazine and Virtualization Review Magazine, and is a frequent speaker at IT conferences worldwide. Reach him on Twitter at @concentratedgreg.

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