Using PowerPoint Presenter Mode


One feature in PowerPoint is the ability to add notes to your presentation, and have these notes on hand whilst presenting, without showing the notes to the audience. This is possible in many lecture rooms, by setting the lectern pc up to use the projector screen as a second screen, and it is not complicated to do.

Getting Started

Firstly, add some notes to your PowerPoint presentation. The field for notes can be found at the bottom of each PowerPoint slide, and can be enlarged by dragging the top boundary line upwards. On the lectern pc you are using, open the PowerPoint presentation and go to the ‘Slide Show’ tab (see Figure 1 below).

Figure 1: Slide Show tab

Make sure ‘Automatic’ is selected in the Monitor dropdown menu, and tick the ‘Use Presenter View’ option (see Figure 2 below).

Figure 2: Checking Monitor and Use Presenter View

Next, go to the magnifying glass next to the start menu in Windows and search for ‘Display’ (see a in Figure 3 below) (on Windows 10 machines).  Select ‘Display settings’ (b).

Figure 3: Check Display settings

In the ‘Customize your display’ screen, ensure that the ‘Multiple displays’ dropdown menu has ‘Extend these displays’ selected and that the tick box for ‘Make this my main display’ is ticked (see Figure 4 below).

Figure 4: Extend the displays

The lectern pc is now set up to show the slide show on the projector screen, and the slides with notes on the lectern pc monitor.

Good practice

  • It is worth noting that if you are recording in Panopto, the presenter mode screen will be captured if the ‘Capture Main Screen’ option is ticked. If you are recording manually, this can be unticked. However, if the session is auto-scheduled, the presenter notes will be visible to the students.
  • Please note, if extending the displays in a lecture room, please take the time to change the setting back to ‘duplicate these displays’ to ensure the next lecturer does not experience problems with the screen set up.

Troubleshooting and support

If, when you are setting up, the option for ‘Multiple displays’ is missing, it is likely that the lectern pc does not support this function, and you will need a workaround to use presenter mode.

  • The first option would be to use a laptop if you have one. Repeat the steps in the ‘Getting Started’ section on the laptop, rather than on the lectern pc. Please note that if you are manually recording the session on Panopto, Panopto will still work. However, as it is no longer working from the lectern pc, it will not be able to create the index of the slides used.
  • The second option would be to do a printout of the notes and use these as a reference during the session. This can be done by going to the printing options and selecting to print the ‘Notes Pages’ (see Figure 5 below).

Figure 5: Printing the Notes Pages

We strongly recommend checking the room used for the session well in advance and, if needed, arrange to see a member from the Learning Innovation Unit to go through any queries you may have in advance of the session.

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