PowerPoint Presentation for a performance assistance (PA)

How to use PowerPoint to start a presentation for a performance assistance (PA)

This blog is mainly design for performance assistance (PA) where the PowerPoint computer was actually located outside the stage. However, the same skills should also be applied for people holding a speech on the stage.

How to open a PowerPoint presentation?

A PowerPoint Presentation (file) usually ended with “.pptx” (for PowerPoint 2007 onward) or “.ppt” for PowerPoint prior than version 2007. Also be bear in mind, we don’t call PowerPoint as a file, but will call it as a “presentation”. Indeed, it is more closer to the purpose of the file. So from now on I will call a PowerPoint file as a presentation.

Following is a usual steps to open a PowerPoint presentation in Windows 10.

  1. Type “PowerPoint” in the search function in the window bar and select the “PowerPoint” applicationSearch Powerpoint 2016ORSimply look for “PowerPoint application from the start menu”
  2. If the presentation (file) is already available from the Recent List. Simply click the file name. Otherwise click “Open Other Presentations”


  1. If you are familiar with Windows Explorer, simply double click the file from Windows Explorer.

 In the application

If you’re using PowerPoint 2013 or PowerPoint 2016, just connect the monitors and PowerPoint automatically sets up Presenter View for you.

In Presenter view, you can see your notes as you present, while the audience sees only your slides. (For you, the notes appear on the right side of the window, below the thumbnail image of the Next Slide.)

Video: Use Slide Show and Presenter View (Prepared by LinkedIn Learning)

Start presenting

At the bottom of the PowerPoint slide window, select Slide Show or press “F5” from the keyboard.

shows where the slide show view button is in powerpoint

You can also click the “From Beginning” button from the Slide Show Ribbon to start a presentation.

Slide Show Ribbon

Now, if you are working with PowerPoint on a single monitor and you want to display Presenter view, in Slide Show view, on the control bar at the bottom left, select  , and then Show Presenter View.

  • If Presenter view appears on the wrong screen, you can swap the display quickly.

  • Turn off Presenter view if you prefer not to use it.

Swap the Presenter view and Slide view monitors

To manually determine which screen shows your notes in Presenter view and which shows only the slides themselves, on the task bar at the top of Presenter view, select Display Settings, and then select Swap Presenter View and Slide Show.

Swap Presenter View
Swap Presenter View

Use the controls in Presenter view

This is the default present view. This view have three windows:

  • Current slide window
  • Next slide window
  • Note Window
Default Presenter View
Presenter View

And this is how does it looks like when the computer have multiple screens:

  • To move to the previous or next slide, select Previous or Next.

  • To view all the slides in your presentation, select See all slides.
    See all Slides
    See all Slides

    Tip: You’ll see thumbnails of all the slides in your presentation (as shown below), making it easy to jump to a specific slide in the show.

    Slide-show view
    Slide-show view

    You can select the corresponding slide by click on the slide or simply type the slide number from the keyboard.

  • To view a detail in your slide up close, select Zoom into slide, and then point to the part you want to see.
    Zone into the slide
    Zone into the slide

    [vtftable ]Zoned;;;Original;nn;Zoned;;;Original;nn;[/vtftable]

  • To point to or write on your slides as you present, select Pen and laser pointer tools.

    Pen and laser pointer tools
    Pen and laser pointer tools
  • Press the Esc key when you want to turn off the pen, laser pointer, or highlighter.
  • To hide or unhide the current slide in your presentation, select Black or unblack slide show.
Black or unblack slideshow
Black or unblack slideshow

What the notes look like in Presenter view

When your computer is connected to a projector and you start the slide show, Presenter View appears on your computer’s screen, while only the slides appear on the projector screen. In Presenter view, you can see your notes as you present, while the audience sees only your slides:

NoteThe notes appear in a pane on the right. The text should wrap automatically, and a vertical scroll bar appears if necessary. You can also change the size of the text in the Notes pane by using the two buttons at the lower left corner of the Notes pane:

Change word size

Turn off Presenter view

If you want Presenter view turned off while you are showing your presentation to others:

On the Slide Show tab of the ribbon, clear the check box named Use Presenter View.

Use Presenter View
Use Presenter View

However, after you are familiar with the Presenter View, you will find that this view is very helpful for a smoother presentation and won’t turn it off.

Using keyboard to control PowerPoint instead of mouse

Although the video above illustrated basic operations using mouse, as a PowerPoint performance assistance, I found that using keyboard is always the quickest way to respond to any changes required from the stage. Please refer to my next blog on how to use keyboard to control navigate a PowerPoint presentation.

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