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In PowerPoint 2010 Essential Training, author David Diskin demonstrates how to engage an audience with images, video, sound, charts, and diagrams in professional presentations. The course also covers a variety of methods to share presentations with others, and provides comprehensive tutorials on how to design presentations that successfully deliver a quality message. Exercise files accompany the course.
Speaker notes are lifesavers for the busy presenter. Few people have the skill or time to memorize everything they're going to say and get it perfect, but speaker notes allow us to write ourselves notes per slide and have them appear to us, either on paper or on the screen during our presentation. First, let's add some speaker notes. In our first slide, I want to remind myself of a few things. I want to introduce myself, make sure I've got all the handouts dispersed, check the lighting of the room, thank the caterers and take attendance of everybody that's there.
Let's go to slide number 1, and I'm going to expand the Speaker Notes area. You can see here there is a horizontal bar that I can click and grab onto and expand up and down. To add a speaker note, all I do is click here. It doesn't have to look pretty. It just needs to be enough to remind us what to do and say. As for where it appears, let me tell you first where it doesn't appear. The audience is never going to see this. Let me enter some text, and I'll show you.
I've entered some Speaker Notes, and if I press Shift+F5 to see the presentation like the audience will, there is no Speaker Notes to be found. Where it does appear is on the printed version of our handouts for the speaker. When I go Backstage and choose to Print, I am going to change the print what's called Notes Pages. These are Speaker Notes. As you can see in Print Preview, we get one slide per page. The Speaker Notes appear underneath the slide itself. When we return back to our slide, I'd like to show you that we can also control formatting, just like we would in any other part of PowerPoint.
I can select the text and turn on bullets, make things italic or bold, or control stuff individually. I can even space things out manually if I want to, or select text and change the paragraph alignment and spacing. Some of the formatting won't show; for example, if I select text and make it larger, I don't see it here. But when I go back to print this, it definitely does take effect.
There is another place that our notes appear called Presenter View. We are going to save that for another course. As you can see, this is a great tool to remind yourself or your speaker about any big and little notes that pertain to each slide. You can also use it to write down what's coming next, a leave-in note if you will, so the speaker can more gracefully segue into the next slide. I've even seen it used with estimated times marked down on each slide so the presentation stays on pace. Use it to spell out those hard to pronounce names or remind you of who to thank for a job well done.
You can even use it to write down additional speaking points that don't belong on the slide, but you might need to reference them if the audience asks. Either way, making use of Speaker Notes can make you a much more powerful presenter.
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Create a Video – This feature converts your presentation into a .WMV file (video) which you can then upload to your own website, YouTube, Facebook, or just about anywhere else. If you upload it to a site like YouTube which permits embedding, you can then copy-and-paste the embed code directly into your own website. It will play when users click the Play button, much like you’ve probably seen on blogs and other websites. This feature includes your voice narration, slide advance timings, and video that you may have included.
Save to Web – This feature uploads your presentation to SkyDrive, a free file-hosting service by Microsoft that you can use for collaboration. You’ll need a Windows Live account first, but once you log in you can create folders and upload files directly from within PowerPoint 2010. Once uploaded, you can provide a public link to the presentation file which can then be added to your website. The presentation will open in visitors’ browsers with forward and back buttons, and they do not need a Windows Live account to view it.
Create PDF/XPS Document – By saving your presentation as a PDF, you can upload the PDF to your website and link to it. Most users will be able to load and watch the PDF presentation, and can advance slides manually. Note that this feature does not permit video, sound, animation, or transitions.
PowerPoint Viewer - A fourth option is to save your presentation as a Show (you’ll find this under the “Save As” menu) which creates a PPSX file. PowerPoint Shows are just like regular presentation files, except PowerPoint opens up in presentation mode to the first slide, and when finished it closes completely. The PPSX file can be uploaded to your website, and linked to. Users with PowerPoint 2007 or later will be able to open the presentation and watch it. For users without PowerPoint 2007 or later, you can provide a second link to the free Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer which they can then install on any Windows machine and watch your presentation.
The first three options discussed above can be started by choosing “Save and Send” from Backstage View (the File menu). Then choose the appropriate option based on your preference.
Note that if your organization has a SharePoint server, and your audience is limited to those with access to SharePoint, you may choose to “Save to SharePoint” instead for an easy, feature-rich solution.
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