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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.

Over the past year, due to the nature of my role and the team that I work for, I have delivered more online courses than face-to-face courses and the great thing about Presenter View is that it works for online presentations too.

When delivering online, instead of connecting my laptop to a projector, I have it connected to a 17 inch monitor (this is not a special configuration for online delivery – this is my normal work setup – I can’t live without a dual monitor setup but that’s another story). The Speakers Notes and slide thumbnails will be displayed on the external monitor whilst the presentation is run in full-screen mode on the laptop (or I can switch this around to display the Speakers Notes on the laptop and the presentation on the external monitor).

The conferencing software (Webex at work) is configured to share a single screen so that the audience sees the presentation and not the Speakers Notes.

So. how do you set up PowerPoint to use Presenter View In PowerPoint 2007 and 2010?

Enable Presenter View


On the Ribbon, click the Slide Show tab (1) and in the Monitors group, ensure that there is a tick in the Use Presenter View box (2)

If Windows has not been configured to use dual monitors, the Display Settings dialog box from the Windows Control Panel will appear.

The Windows Display Settings Dialog Box – 1


Click the monitor icon to be used to display the Speaker Notes (1) and then select the This is my main monitor check box (2).

If the This is my main monitor check box is selected and unavailable, the monitor is already designated as the primary monitor – in my configuration, my Thinkpad laptop is been identified as the primary monitor.

Only one monitor can be the primary monitor at any one time. To change which monitor is the primary one, click a different monitor icon and the This is my main monitor check box will be cleared and made available again.

The Windows Display Settings Dialog Box – 2


Click the monitor icon for the monitor that will be used to display the full-screen presentation (1) and ensure that there is a tick in the Extend the desktop onto this monitor check box (2)

Click OK (3)

Choosing the Correct Monitor – PowerPoint


Although Windows has been configured, it is still necessary to ensure that PowerPoint is set up to output the presentation to the correct monitor.

On Ribbon, click the Slide Show tab (1) and in the Monitors group, ensure that the monitor on which you want the audience to see your presentation, appears in the Show Presentation On list (2).