Advanced Presentation Options

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Rehearse and record slide shows

Video: Rehearsing and Recording in PowerPoint 2010

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It's good practice to rehearse your presentation before you present your slide show to an audience. You can use PowerPoint's Rehearse Timings feature to advance slides while you practice presenting. If you are unable to present your slide show, PowerPoint's Record Slide Show feature allows you to record narration.

Optional: You can download this example for extra practice.

Rehearsing slide show timings

Rehearsing timings can be useful if you want to set up a presentation to play at a certain speed without having to click through the slides to present it. Think of it as a tool to help you practice presenting your slide show. Using this feature, you can save timings for each slide and animation. PowerPoint will then play back the presentation with the same timings when you present it.

To rehearse timings:

  1. Select the Slide Show tab, and locate the Set Up group.
  2. Click the Rehearse Timings command. You will be taken to a full-screen view of your presentation.
    The Rehearse Timings commandThe Rehearse Timings command
  3. Practice presenting your slide show. When you're ready to move to the next slide, click the Next button on the Recording toolbar in the top-left corner. If you prefer, you can also use the right arrow key.
    Navigating to the next slide using the Recording toolbarNavigating to the next slide using the Recording toolbar
  4. When you've reached the end of the show, press the Esc key to end your slide show. A dialog box will appear with the total time of your presentation.
    Verifying the new slide timingsVerifying the new slide timings
  5. If you are satisfied with your timings, click Yes.

If you need more than one try to get the timings just right, the Recording toolbar has options to let you take a break or start over on a slide. To pause the timer, click the pause button on the toolbar. No actions taken while the timer is paused will be included in the timings. To re-record the timings on the current slide, click the repeat button.

The Recording toolbarThe Recording toolbar

Recording your slide show

The Record Slide Show feature is similar to the Rehearse Timings feature, but it's more comprehensive. If you have a microphone for your computer, you can even record voiceover narration for the entire presentation. This is useful if you plan on using your slide show for a self-running presentation or a video. Your mouse won't show up on screen in recorded slide shows, so if you want to point out details on screen, you can use PowerPoint's laser pointer option.

To record a slide show:

  1. Click the Slide Show tab, and locate the Set Up group.
  2. Click the Record Slide Show drop-down arrow.
    The Record Slide Show commandThe Record Slide Show command
  3. Select either Start Recording from Beginning or Start Recording from Current Slide. The Record Slide Show dialog box will appear.
  4. Select the desired options. Remember, you can only record narration if you have a microphone attached to your computer.
    The Record Slide Show dialog boxThe Record Slide Show dialog box
  5. Click Start Recording. Your presentation will open up to a full-screen view.
  6. Perform your slide show. Make sure to speak clearly into the microphone if you are recording narration. When you are ready to move to the next slide, click the Next button on the Recording toolbar in the top-left corner, or use the right arrow key.
    Navigating to the next slide using the Recording toolbarNavigating to the next slide using the Recording toolbar
  7. When you reach the end of the show, press the Esc key to exit.
  8. Your slide show timings and narration are now included in your presentation. The slides with narration will be marked with a speaker icon in the bottom-right corner.
    Slides with narrationSlides with narration

To point out details during your recording, press and hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard. Your cursor will show up as a laser pointer. Move your mouse to indicate the desired details. Release the Ctrl key when you are finished pointing out things on screen.

Using the laser pointerUsing the laser pointer

To remove narration or timings from a recorded slide show:

  1. Click the Slide Show tab, and locate the Set Up group.
  2. Click the Record Slide Show drop-down arrow.
  3. Hover your mouse over Clear.
    Clearing timing on all slidesClearing timing on all slides
  4. Select the desired option.