Powerpoint: Showing Your Presentation

PowerPoint is a wonderful tool to use to create presentations or slideshows from your own computer. You don’t have to have a great handful of experience to use PowerPoint because of how user-friendly it is. Whether you are working on a class project, pitching an idea, or creating a slideshow of pictures you took while on vacation, PowerPoint can be used for all of these situations as well as many more. Chances are, you have used PowerPoint in the past, whether it be PowerPoint for Mac or for Windows. While you may think you know everything there is to know about PowerPoint, there are some other aspects of it that you may have not previously been aware of, such as speaker notes, different navigation features, pointer options, hyperlink features, and action buttons. All of these features will help you to navigate and show your presentation in the most effective way.

There are many different ways one can utilize PowerPoint so that their presentation goes as smoothly and as informatively as possible. By using Lynda, I was able to watch tutorial videos that demonstrate many manners in which one can do so. In the course titled PowerPoint for Mac 2011 Essential Training, Chapter 9, Showing Your Presentation, there are 8 different videos totaling 40 minutes and 53 seconds that explain different ways that one can show a presentation. In this post, I will be focusing on videos 1, 2, 3, 7, and 8. If you own a Windows computer, be sure to check out the Powerpoint 2010 Essential Training course.

Speaker Notes

Speaker notes go in the white box underneath the slide.

Video 1, titled Using Speaker Notes, has useful information about how to actually add speaker notes to a presentation and what exactly they are for. When showing a presentation, it looks more professional to the audience if the presenter is not constantly looking at the screen. However, it can be beneficial to the presenter to have some notes to help guide them through their presentation. Adding speaker notes to a presentation can really assist a speaker in 

Notes Page

An example of a notes page.

knowing what they are supposed to be talking about for each slide. Adding speaker notes is very easy, and once they are added, they can be printed out so that a piece of paper contains a slide as well as notes about what the speaker should say while the slide is on the screen. This page is known as your notes page, and you can preview this before actually printing it out. In your speaker notes, you can format it to whatever you extent you wish. For example, if you wanted to add bullet points to your speaker notes, you could easily do so. Essentially, speaker notes would ultimately improve the flow of your presentation. You could also add headers and footers, which you can learn how to do in Steph G.’s post, PowerPoint: Formatting a Presentation.

Navigation Menu

You can bring up this menu by right clicking during the presentation or by clicking on the menu button where the navigation tools are.

The second video in Chapter 9, Showing and Navigating a Presentation, the different options for navigating through your slides are presented to you. There are multiple ways in which you can do this, but the presenter can chose what they are most comforable with. Most people are aware of the basic ways of navigating through a presentation, such as clicking the mouse, using arrow keys, pressing the return key, or pressing page down/up. These ways of navigating will move you forwards or backwards through a presentation, depending on which way you want to go. For example, pressing the right arrow key would bring you to the next slide, while pressing the left arrow key would bring you to the previous slide. There is also a drop down menu that you can bring up. This menu can bring you to the previous or next slide, last viewed slide, or even a specific

Using the Navigation Menu

You can jump to any slide in your presentation using the navigation menu.

slide in your presentation. There are additionally some navigation buttons that you can utilize. There are multiple ways in which you can start up your presentation as well, whether it be from the slide you are currently viewing or from the first slide in your PowerPoint presentation. If for some reason you need to pause your presentation, you can

Navigation tools

Navigation tools that you can click on while presenting.

actually change your screen to either a black or white screen. This can be done if you want to answer or ask questions, or in any other circumstance in which you would need to pause your presentation.

Pen Modes

The different pen modes available to the presenter.

Using Pointer Options, the third video in this chapter, demonstrates how you can highlight particular areas of a slide while presenting. This can help you to draw attention to specific things to know in your slides. There are different pen modes that you can use in order to accomplish this. You have to switch from the default mode if you want to draw on your slide. Some of the different modes are to make your cursor arrow appear when you move the mouse, make the arrow always visible, hide the arrow at all

Using Pen Mode

You can use pen mode to check off points, circle them, etc.

times, or generate a pen that can draw on the slide. This pen can become any color of your choosing. The pen is not writing on the actual slide’s content, but is rather drawing on the screen and can easily be erased at any time. You could check off different areas of your slide as you complete them, or you could circle words that are important. The different modes can be accessed through keyboard shortcuts or through a menu.

Inserting Hyperlinks

Hyperlinks can lead to a web page, document, or e-mail address.

In the 7th video of this chapter, Adding Hyperlinks to a Presentation, an alternate way of navigating through a presentation is discussed. Perhaps you want to give the viewer more control of the presentation. Maybe you want them to be able to explore other resources of your choosing, or you want them to send you (or someone else) an email at the end of the presentation. The solution to this is to insert hyperlinks. When linking to an outside website, you don’t have to just copy and paste the URL, but you can put meaningful link text that goes to the outside website. You can even link to a document that you want the reader to view! When linking to a website or a document, you can choose to link to a specific part of the document by adding what is called an anchor. When adding a link, it is best to make it clear that it is a link. When you make certain words a link, it will automatically underline and be a certain color based on your theme. You can customize the colors you use in your theme that will apply to all your links for before and after you click them. This saves you the trouble of formatting each link individually. For more information on formatting and themes, see Steph G.’s post PowerPoint: Formatting a Presentation.

Linking Action Buttons

I chose the “first slide” setting for the orange home action button.

The final tutorial video that I watched in Showing Your Presentation is titled Using Action Buttons. Action buttons are buttons that can be placed on a slide, and work as hyperlinks that can take you to either different slides in your presentation or to outside websites or documents. There are some preset action buttons, but you can always create your own action buttons. All you have to do for this is put in any shape or text box and format it so that it has action

Adding action settings to shapes

You can format any shape or text box to have action settings.

settings. You can make it clear that the shape/text box is an action button by setting up your mouse arrow to change when it scrolls over the action button. There are other settings that you can play with as well for either clicking on the button or scrolling over the button. These action buttons are helpful for giving the viewer more control over the presentation. Using action buttons would also be helpful when playing a game like jeopardy through a powerpoint presentation, which you may have done in different classes in the past.

All of the different ways of showing and navigating a PowerPoint can be very useful right now as well as in the future. As a future teacher, I know that I will be needing to use PowerPoint, assuming a new presentation tool doesn’t take over. Take a minute and think about everything I have covered in this blog post. Did you know about all these features before, and if so, how often have you used them? How could you use some of these features as a future teacher? Do you think that some features are more important or interesting than others? Let me know what you think in the comments below, and thanks for taking the time to read my post!

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10 Responses to Powerpoint: Showing Your Presentation

  1. B. Taylor says:

    Thanks for tips and reminders about a tool we use frequently and sometimes don’t know its full potential. I think action buttons are so cool – as a way to link from one slide to another in a presentation. Here is a PowerPoint Jeopardy template blog post from Chris Burley that has a presentation you can download and adapt with your own questions. It uses hyperlinks to go from the game board to each “answer” slide, and a home button on each “question” slide that uses an action setting to return to the game board slide.

  2. Sara R. says:

    Alexia–this was a great post! Honestly, since the advent of Google Drive, I have scarcely used Microsoft PowerPoint. However, your post offered some information that has convinced me that the program is not completely worth writing off. I was particularly interested by the tool that allows you to take notes on and highlight a slide while you are presenting. Yes, I have seen this done via SmartBoard. However, this tool allows you to do so from your computer if you do not have access to a Smartboard. I will definitely remember that if I do not have such access in my future classroom. Thanks for the great information!

  3. Steph G. says:

    This was an awesome post! It is always useful to know more details and ways to use such a popular tool like PowerPoint. These are really helpful tips to make sure a presentation is as successful and effective as possible. I will definitely keep these in mind for my next PowerPoint. Thanks so much!

  4. Maria H. says:

    Alexia, your screenshots and examples in this post are on point!I loved being able to see what speaker notes would look like on a printed PowerPoint Presentation. I was also unaware of many of the navigational tools you touched on, primarily the right-click option of going to any of your slides in the presentation. Also, I can tell how action buttons would work well in a classroom setting while showing a presentation to your students, and having the ability to travel to another webpage from a fun hyperlink. I love this post, Alexia! Great job!

    • Chelsea S. says:

      I definitely have to agree with Maria. Your screenshots and examples were really helpful in understanding what you were talking about in the post. I especially enjoyed seeing the sample notes sheet! I think it is unprofessional to have a speaker look more at the screen than at the audience so creating speaker notes and printing them out is such a good idea!

  5. Laura H. says:

    Pointer Options is a tool that I have never even heard of before! I have definitely had times where using this would have been a lifesaver! You give a great description of the tool and the screenshots were also super helpful, and I will definitely be using the point in the near future.

  6. Winna P. says:

    What a helpful post! In all honesty I have never used a lot of these tools in PowerPoint. How crazy? I was just never taught how to use them and never bothered to play around with the program. Now that I know how to use all these awesome tools in PowerPoint, I realized I’ve been missing out and could have made past presentations much better. Thanks for furthering my knowledge!

  7. Angie E. says:

    Great job Alexia! Thanks for explaining the notes function of PowerPoint. I have tried to use the notes before, but I never realized that I could print out a page of them and my slides to use during my presentation. I also did not know that you could pause a presentation by going to a black or white screen. Those pointer options would be a great way to make a presentation more engaging. If a presenter was interacting with the powerpoint using the pointers it would be much more interesting than the typical presentation. Also thanks for pointing out how to include things like jeopardy to a powerpoint. I’ve always wondered how my teaches did that.

  8. Victoria B. says:

    Great post Alexia! I love using Microsoft Powerpoint for all project presentations. Whenever creating power points with groups, I noticed that people would put notes at the bottom. However, I could never figure out how to do it, myself. I am so glad that you included how to do so in your post! I also think it’s great that you touched on how to create a jeopardy powerpoint. I was always curious as to how people did that. I will definitely take advantage of all of this when I am teaching!

  9. Katie H. says:

    Awesome post Alexia! I love learning off of Microsoft PowerPoints, however I always find myself struggling to make them interesting and with the right amount of information. PowerPoints are an excellent tool that every teacher should use in their classroom and I so glad you shared a variety of ways to make them interesting. I’ve always loved the Jeopardy games and now I know how I can make my own! I will definitely be using these skills in my classroom or in presentations in the future. Thanks for the great info!!

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