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Mike Thomas


Training Consultant

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Presenter View in PowerPoint


Almost all of the training courses that I deliver involve PowerPoint. Let me be clear, I don’t mean that I solely deliver PointPoint training, rather, most of the courses require the use of PowerPoint. I have a few introductory slides (with not a single bullet point in sight!), I have a slide with contact details on that I display at the end and, for some courses, I have slides that are used to explain concepts.

When I deliver a live training course I don’t like to use cue cards or have a printout of the running order. So how do I remember which slide is up next and what about Speakers Notes?

I use PowerPoint’s Presenter View. It enables me to view my Speakers Notes along with thumbnail previews (which are quite large) of the up-coming slides on one screen (usually my laptop), whilst my audience sees the "real" presentation (running on the same laptop) on a large screen via a projector.

I've written a short step-by-step guide on how to set up Presenter view, along with my own personal experiences. You can find it here on my blog:



3 Responses

  1. Virtual and online training events

    Thanks Mike, this is helpful.

    This year, we’ve been doing a lot of  360 Degree Feedback training for our clients and their employees, and because our tools are delivered online, we’ve started to run online training events.

    We’ve found that a combination of Webex and phone calling works well.  Any ideas on how to do this more effectively would be welcomed.

    From the trainer point of view, it’s not always possible to follow your running order exactly, especially when a learner asks a question and you head off in a different direction.  I have found a mind-map that show all the areas I need to cover really helps, and I can tick off each item once it’s covered, but it’s not linear so I can easily see what I haven’t covered yet!

    I look forward to seeing  other people’s tips.


  2. powerpoint mind map

    Hi Jo

    Like the mind map idea but how do you skip about in a powerpoint without flashing through all the other upcoming slides??


  3. Non-linear PPT

    Hi Charlotte

    To create a non-linear PPT you need to make use of PPT’s hyperlinking capabilities. Here is a quick primer:


    Create a contents/navigation page with links

    Let’s say your mind map is slide 1. This represents your "contents" page, or, in hyperlinking terms, your"navigation" page. On this you will create links to the other sections in your presentation.

    Let’s assume your mind map has five nodes, each with two subnodes. This would imply your presentation should have five sections, each with two sub-pages (of course, you can have as many nodes and pages as you want).

    From the navigation page you want to be able to jump to any of the five sections in any sequence,  view the pages in it, and then be able to return to the navigation page.

    1. So, on the navigation page, create five rectangles (Insert > Shapes > Rectangle) and position them by superimposing them roughly over the five nodes. Ensure that each rectangle is 99% transparent (Format Shape > Fill > Transparency) and has no border.
    2. Now, attach an action to each rectangle: Insert > Action > Hyperlink to > Slide … > Hyperlink to Slide [number]
    3. For each hyperlink, enter the number of the slide you want to link to. For example, the Node 1 rectangle might link to slide 2, the Node 2 rectangle to slide 5, etc.
    4. If you now go into Slide Show mode and click on the mind map on node 2 (actually on the invisible rectangle covering it), slide 5 will be displayed. You’ve just created a non-linear PPT show, which allows you to jump to anywhere in the presentation at any time.

    Two important tasks remain: You want to ensure that the normal slide advance (a click) is disabled, so that if you inadvertantly click on a slide, but not on a link, PPT does not do its "normal" slide advance and go to the next slide. To do this: go to Transitions > Advance Slide, and clear the On Mouse Click check box. You have to do this for each slide.


    Create links back to the navigation page

    So, you’re on slide 5, but before you go on to the next section you want to be able to go back to the navigation page. Simple, just create a small rectangle, linked to "First Slide" (as described above) and paste it on each slide (other than the first one, of course). The bottom right-hand corner is a good place to put it. (You can also use Insert > Shapes > Action Buttons > Back or Previous to achieve this.)

    With a bit of experimentation, you could create a set of small buttons (which I normally place in the bottom right-hand corner), pointing to the navigation page, the previous section, and the next section.

    When you use a remote, as I do, when you point to one of these links (buttons) and click, the linked slide is displayed. The alternative is to use a mouse, but that ties you to your laptop; using a remote is a much better option.

    The benefits of a non-linear presentation are numerous. As presenter you can omit sections, return to any given section to revise it or take questions about it, and return to the navigation page to constantly give your audience a sense of "where they are" in cyberspace. The navigation system can be made quite a bit more complex (with hidden menus sliding in an out, for example), but that’s perhaps a topic for another day. 



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Mike Thomas

Training Consultant

Read more from Mike Thomas

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