In an important presentation, the very worst thing you can do is overload your PowerPoint slides with text—and then read the slides to the audience.
Why would a presenter do this to his or her audience? Usually, it’s based on fear. If you don’t know your material thoroughly inside and out, or if you’re expecting difficult questions from your audience, then you might be tempted to dump every possible piece of data onto your slides so you can access it easily.
Fortunately, there’s a tool built into PowerPoint 2013 that will prevent you from committing this deadly presentation sin. It’s called Presenter View.
PowerPoint Presenter View Puts You in Control
Presenter View for PowerPoint lets you use two monitors, one for the presentation that the audience sees, and one for you as the presenter to read from. That way, you have all the information you need at your fingertips, but the audience only sees the essential highlights or bullet points.
Presenter View also provides a few handy tools for presenter use, including a timer in the corner of the presenter’s screen, a zoom function to highlight interesting graphics, and writing/erasing tools that add or subtract handwritten notes on the audience screen.
How PowerPoint Presenter View has Improved in 2013
It’s true that Presenter View isn’t new. It was available in previous versions of PowerPoint, but most people didn’t know about it. Those who did use Presenter View in the past may have found it cumbersome.
The good news is that Presenter View in PowerPoint 2013 offers huge improvements over previous versions. Here are a few highlights:
▪ PowerPoint 2013 provides an automatic setup of the primary and secondary monitors. It’s also possible to manually choose monitors, if needed.
▪ You can access Presenter View to rehearse your presentation even when you don’t have two monitors available. Just press the ALT key plus F5 to access Presenter View on a single monitor.
▪ You can increase the font size of the presenter’s screen, making your notes easier on the eyes.
▪ At any point in the presentation, you can flip back to a grid overview of all your slides without any visual cue to the audience that you’ve done so.
For additional details on Presenter View and other 2013 PowerPoint features, check out this article at PC World: 10 Ways PowerPoint 2013 Gets More Polish.
More PowerPoint Tips and Tricks
You can read much more about how to use PowerPoint (and even how not to use it!) right here on the Slideshop blog – like this one on building a solid presentation.