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How to Present a PowerPoint Slideshow With Presenter View (+ Video)

Read Time: 11 mins

Giving a presentation can be intimidating, even to seasoned speakers. Learn how to use PPT Presenter View, which is your private cockpit view.

Tezia presenter view in PowerPointTezia presenter view in PowerPointTezia presenter view in PowerPoint
In Presenter View, you'll have your own private screen with tools like a next slide preview, timekeeper, and drawing tools.

This is a view that you'll see on your own screen while giving a presentation using PowerPoint. While the audience will see the presentation on the projector or big screen, you'll have your own private view on a second monitor.

This feature is like a cockpit for giving presentations. You'll keep all the most important controls front and center while presenting.

PowerPoint Presenter View gives you at least four essential tools that make presenting your slideshow more comfortable:

  1. In Presenter View, this display keeps your speaker notes in view to reference while speaking.
  2. You'll see a thumbnail for the next slide to begin preparing for your next key point, and you can jump to other slides quickly.
  3. A timekeeping tool helps you track how long you've been speaking to ensure you don't overrun any time limits.
  4. Drawing tools allow you to add illustrations on screen while presenting to draw attention to specific parts of your slides.

You need every advantage you can get when it's time to give a presentation. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to make the most out of Presenter View in PowerPoint.

In this tutorial, I'm going to focus on an underused feature of PowerPoint: Presenter View. 

The tips in this tutorial were written using a macOS and Office 365. If you’ve got different operating system or a different version of PowerPoint, your steps may be slightly different.

How to Present a PowerPoint Slideshow With Presenter View (Video)

In this video, I'll teach you how to get started with Presenter View in PowerPoint. You'll learn how to enable Presenter View and then use the tools inside of it. I'll teach you to use the special Presenter View features to keep your notes and tools close, that way you can present more confidently. 

Keep reading to find out more about using Presenter View in PowerPoint and the best features to try out.

Turn On PowerPoint Presenter View

In PowerPoint for macOS, simply click on Presenter View on the Slide Show tab to kick off the presentation in Presenter view.

Start presenter mode PowerPointStart presenter mode PowerPointStart presenter mode PowerPoint
Turn on Presenter View by clicking on Presenter View on the Slide Show tab.

You'll see the Presenter View interface on one screen. The other display will show the "audience version" of the presentation. In other words, it shows what they'll see on a projector screen, or even their own display. 

Presenter View is for multiple screen setups. Put presenter view on your laptop or tablet while presenting on a projector or wall-mounted display. The idea is to keep those presentation tools visible to you while the audience sees the actual presentation on the external display.

How to Make the Most of Presenter View

Let's dive into some of my favorite features that Presenter View brings to the table. Using even one of these is reason enough to try out Presenter View in PowerPoint. But when you combine them together, it's a no-brainer.

This is how to use Presenter View on PowerPoint. But the real question is why to use presenter mode PowerPoint. The reason is twofold:

  1. It helps your slides look better.
  2. It keeps you organized.

You can share neat, uncluttered slides that aren’t packed with content. That’s because you can keep your supporting content to yourself.

For this Presenter View in PowerPoint tutorial, we’ll be using the beautiful Tezia - Corporate PowerPoint Template from Envato Elements. Tezia has 40 stunning slide layouts. Each one works great in PowerPoint Presenter View. Download it today and follow along.

Tezia Presenter mode PowerPointTezia Presenter mode PowerPointTezia Presenter mode PowerPoint
Download the Tezia - Corporate PowerPoint Template to use as you learn how to use Presenter View in PowerPoint.

Now, let’s learn how to use Presenter View in PowerPoint fast!

1. Speaker Notes

Speaker Notes is a top feature that works best with Presenter View in PowerPoint. Many presenters will spend time filling out cards or scribbling ideas onto paper. But it's much easier to add them directly into your PowerPoint file.

To add Speaker Notes to a presentation, start off by working in Normal view on PowerPoint's View tab. At the bottom of your screen, you can click on Notes to open up the Speaker Notes section and add your own text.

How to present on PowerPointHow to present on PowerPointHow to present on PowerPoint
Add Speaker Notes by clicking on Notes at the bottom of the PowerPoint window and typing out your cues.

Speaker Notes and Presenter View go hand in hand. When you're in Presenter View, your speaker notes will show up on the right side of your screen. You can adjust the text size with the icons near the lower right corner. 

How to use presenter view in PowerPointHow to use presenter view in PowerPointHow to use presenter view in PowerPoint
Speaker Notes show on the right side of the Presenter View, and the size can be adjusted using the icons at the bottom of the menu.

Speaker Notes show how to use Presenter View in PowerPoint to your advantage. They help keep you on track as you present on your key topics.

Speaker Notes are important because they avoid the potential of you reading off your slides. Why? Because you don’t have to commit every key detail to memory! You can engage with your audience, all while referring to pre-built notes that they’ll never see.

2. Slide Previews

Let’s face it: you might be sharing a presentation with dozens of different slides inside. When you know how to put PowerPoint in presentation mode, you can get a sneak preview as you present. It’s easy to forget exactly how you sequenced slides together.

With Presenter View, you can stop guessing. That’s because you’ll always have a preview of the next slide in your deck.

As you work in Presenter View in PowerPoint, notice the slide thumbnail in the upper right corner. It’s labeled Next Slide, and that’s exactly what you’re seeing. This helps you transition smoothly from slide to slide. Often, you may set up some closing narration on one slide to help introduce the next. Guesswork and delays are gone, thanks to using Presenter View in PowerPoint.

Knowing how to present on PowerPoint involves keeping slides in a logical order. That means that on occasion, your next slide should no longer be the next one in line. Presenter View helps you handle this situation. 

How to put PowerPoint in presentation modeHow to put PowerPoint in presentation modeHow to put PowerPoint in presentation mode
Click on any of these slide thumbnails to jump directly to the slide in your presentation.

Across the bottom of the view is a filmstrip of every slide’s thumbnail. You can scroll through it and click on any slide to jump directly to it.

This way, you can jump around in your slide deck without your audience ever knowing it! This helps you drive the flow of your slide deck in real time, with no interruptions or distractions. 

3. Drawing Tools

Like sports commentators do during a broadcast, you can use drawing tools to draw on top of your slides. This is perfect if you've got a tablet for example, but the feature works well for computer users with a mouse too.

To enter the drawing tools, you can click on the icon shown in the PowerPoint screenshot below. This turns on the tools you need to add highlights and annotations to the selected slide.

Using presenter view in PowerPointUsing presenter view in PowerPointUsing presenter view in PowerPoint
You can click the icon shown in the screenshot above to choose an annotation to add to your slide, such as laser pointer, pen, and highlighter tools.

Annotations are great if you want to call out key details in real time. You can highlight, mark up, or circle any element on a slide. This is how to use Presenter View in PowerPoint in a live environment. You can use it to capture audience attention and focus on details as your narrative flows. 

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Using the annotation tools, I've chosen the highlighter to draw attention to specifics.

Choose from tools like the Laser Pointer, Pen, and Highlighter to add annotations to a slide. A laser pointer is a digital version of the popular tool used to draw attention to parts of a slide.

The Pen and Highlighter tools will actually add new marks on top of the slide that your audience will see. 

4. Timekeeping

This feature is straightforward to use, but I can't stress enough how helpful it is. Nothing is worse than giving a presentation and realizing that you used only half of the time. Or that you went far over the time limit.

In Presenter View, you'll see a feature that keeps time above the current slide thumbnail. You can pause this feature with the Pause button or reset the counter with the icon on the far right. But often, it's best to leave it running. This keeps you on pace, on track, and focused on your message. 

Time presenter view in PowerPointTime presenter view in PowerPointTime presenter view in PowerPoint
The stopwatch that keeps time is just above the slide design in Presenter View, with tools to pause or reset the counter right next to it.

Plus, this is how to put PowerPoint in presentation mode to work for you. At a glance, you can see how much time you have left. This may encourage you to speed up your dialogue. Or it may afford you extra time to expound on a key point or new supporting detail. 

I can think of many times when this feature would have been a big help during presentations in college. When you're graded or judged based upon your runtime, it's a great idea to keep that time total in view.

5. Navigate Effortlessly with Keyboard Shortcuts

Presenter mode PowerPoint presentations are easy to navigate. That’s because they work well with a variety of keyboard shortcuts. By using these shortcuts, you can see how to present on PowerPoint efficiently.

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Presenter View works with keyboard and mouse shortcuts that you can learn about on the Tips menu.

Presenter View offers an array of keyboard and mouse shortcuts that you can use as you present. Again, your audience won’t notice this. 

For a look at them, click on the Tips button in the upper left corner of Presenter View. You’ll see a complete cheat sheet of shortcuts listed. Refer to it often and use these tips to navigate through your slides.

The Best Source for Stunning PowerPoint Templates (With Unlimited Downloads)

Envato Elements is the best place to find stunning PowerPoint templates in 2022. For a flat, monthly rate, you can download as many PowerPoint templates as you want. Plus, Elements offers an array of other creative content. This includes stock photos, music, fonts, and more.

Unlimited ElementsUnlimited ElementsUnlimited Elements
Stunning PowerPoint templates that work great with Presenter View - with unlimited downloads.

When you’re using Presenter View in PowerPoint, you need templates that look their best. It’s tempting to turn to free options. But premium templates from Envato Elements are always your best bet.

Why? They’re designed by creative experts with you in mind. You simply fill in the blanks to add your own content. You don’t have to spend time and effort designing slides from scratch. This gives you even more time to craft a compelling narrative to wow any audience.

Elements PowerPoint templatesElements PowerPoint templatesElements PowerPoint templates
Envato Elements has thousands of PowerPoint template designs. Download your favorites and start using Presenter View in PowerPoint today.

With premium Envato Elements templates, you’ll unlock an array of features. Each of these helps you shine when you use presenter mode PowerPoint features:

  • easy-to-edit text placeholders
  • photos and illustrations throughout
  • charts and infographics
  • pre-built animations

As you learn how to put PowerPoint in presentation mode, you’ll see how all these benefit you.  

Learn More Powerful PowerPoint Tools

We can use tools like Presenter View to reduce the anxiety that comes along with giving presentations. It may still take time to prepare and feel confident about your presentation. But Presenter View keeps those key features in easy view so that you aren't scrambling for written notes.

Check out these tutorials to learn more about giving presentations using Microsoft PowerPoint:

Download Our eBook on Making Great Presentations (Free PDF)

We have the perfect complement to this tutorial, which will walk you through the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully. 

Download our  eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It's available for FREE with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. 

How to Make a Great Presentation Free eBook PDF DownloadHow to Make a Great Presentation Free eBook PDF DownloadHow to Make a Great Presentation Free eBook PDF Download

Start Using Presenter View Today

You just learned how to use Presenter View in PowerPoint. You're the pilot, and now you're in the cockpit of your presentation plane! The features you saw in this tutorial will keep everything you need in view while you give a presentation.

Don't forget to launch your presentation in presenter mode PowerPoint mode. That means you'll always have your slide cues, notes, and more while you speak to an audience.

Editorial Note: This post has been updated with contributions and a video from Andrew Childress. Andrew is a freelance instructor for Envato Tuts+.

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