Once your slide show is complete, you'll need to learn how to present it to an audience. PowerPoint offers several tools and features to help make your presentation smooth, engaging, and professional.
Optional: Download our practice presentation.
Before you present your slide show, you'll need to think about the type of equipment that will be available for your presentation. Many presenters use projectors during presentations, so you might want to consider using one as well. This allows you to control and preview slides on one monitor while presenting them to an audience on another screen.
You can also click the Play Slide Show command at the bottom of the PowerPoint window to begin a presentation from the current slide.
Click the Slide Show tab on the Ribbon to access even more options. From here, you can start the presentation from the current slide and access advanced presentation options.
You can also hover your mouse over the bottom-left and click the arrows to move forward or backward.
The presentation will also end after the last slide. You can click the mouse or press the spacebar to return to Normal view.
PowerPoint provides convenient tools you can use while presenting your slide show. For example, you can change your mouse pointer to a pen or highlighter to draw attention to items in your slides. In addition, you can jump around to slides in your presentation or access other programs from your taskbar if needed.
Your mouse pointer can act as pen or highlighter to draw attention to items in your slides.
You can also use the laser pointer feature to draw attention to certain parts of your slide. Unlike the pen and highlighter, the laser pointer will not leave markings on your slides. To use the laser pointer, select it from the Pen Tools, or press and hold the Ctrl key and the left mouse button.
When you end a slide show, you'll also have the option to Keep or Discard any ink annotations made during your presentation. If you keep ink markings, they'll appear as objects on your slides in Normal view.
You can jump to slides out of order if needed.
Sometimes you may need to access the Internet or other files and programs on your computer during your presentation. PowerPoint allows you to access your taskbar without ending the presentation.
You can also access any of the menu items above by right-clicking anywhere on the screen during your slide show.
If you're presenting your slide show with a second display—like a projector—you can use Presenter view. Presenter view gives you access to a special set of controls on your screen that the audience won't see, allowing you to easily reference slide notes, preview the upcoming slide, and much more.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn more about using Presenter view.
Click here to end the presentation.
From here, you can customize your display settings, including the option to duplicate—or mirror—the slide show on two screens and swap the monitors if Presenter view is appearing on the wrong screen.
Click here to show the taskbar and access other programs without closing the presentation.
Here, you can see how long you've been giving the presentation. You can also pause and restart the timer if necessary.
This is the current slide being shown to the audience.
Here, you can access the same slide options you would find in normal presentation mode, including the Pen Tools and See All Slides buttons.
Use the arrows to move forward and backward through your presentation.
Here, you'll see any speaker notes for the current slide. You can use the Increase and Decrease buttons below to make the notes larger or smaller.
Here, you can preview the next slide that will appear in the presentation.
PowerPoint has various options for setting up and playing a slide show. For example, you can set up an unattended presentation that can be displayed at a kiosk and make your slide show repeat with continuous looping.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn about various options for setting up and playing a slide show.
Here, you can choose a show type.
Here, you choose playback settings and disable certain features if desired.
Here, you can choose which slides you want to show during the presentation.
All is selected by default, but you can choose to show only certain slides or use any custom shows you have created from your original presentation.
If you have set timings in your slide show, they will play automatically. However, if you want to disable the timings and control the slides yourself, select Manually.
If you have more than one monitor, you can choose which one to display the slide show on. It's usually best to leave this setting on Automatic.
To advance slides automatically, you'll need to customize the slide timing on the Transitions tab. Review our lesson on Applying Transitions to learn how.