PowerPoint 2007’s Presenter View is a fantastic tool

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Today has been a big day for me. I’ve given presentations before but typically to colleagues, or occasionally to customers. Never to a large group of technical people – some of whom will also be extremely knowledgeable on my chosen topics (perhaps using a competitive product) – and never at Microsoft’s UK Campus in Reading, where I have attended many presentations, but never presented.

I really enjoyed myself at today’s Microsoft UK user groups community day – and if you were in one of my sessions I hope you found it useful and thank you for your support.

Because this was such a big deal for me (and because I didn’t know who would be watching), I put a lot of effort into my preparation. I had virtual machine snapshots and demonstration screen grabs (just in case the demo gods decided that today was not my day) as well as full speaker notes (with printed copies just in case). I also used the presenter view in PowerPoint for the first time ever and have to say it is fantastic.

PowerPoint 2007 Presenter Mode

The notebook PC I was using doesn’t have an high-powered graphics adapter – just an Intel GMA 965 chipset – but the standard Intel Graphics Media Accelerator for mobile driver helped me configure multiple monitors (1280×800 on the notebook display and 1024×768 on the projector – both in 32-bit colour). After this, I switched PowerPoint into presenter view and the audience could see the slides (or whatever I was demonstrating on the projector), whilst I could view the current slide, my speaker notes (at whatever text size I wanted), thumbnails of upcoming and previous slides, a clock and an elapsed time counter (there’s full details on delivering a presentation on two monitors by using presenter view in the Microsoft Office 2007 online help).

Trying not to bore the audience with “death by PowerPoint” is one thing, managing to accurately type commands in demos is another and only experience will teach me how to manage audience questions to stay on track but the PowerPoint presenter view really helped me out today – I’ll be using it a lot more regularly now I know how useful it is.

8 thoughts on “PowerPoint 2007’s Presenter View is a fantastic tool

  1. Yeah, presenter’s view is awesome. And isn’t PowerPoint 2007 such an awesome upgrade (and long-overdue)? But I don’t like that they shrunk the scroll bar in 2007, this makes it harder to skip content in my presentation.

    Hey, you’re running Vista with PPT07. I’ve seen some problems with that combination before. Was your notebook made for Vista? What happens if you enable hardware acceleration in your slide show settings? On my Alienware notebook, the slide preview in Presenter’s View disappears, but if I disable hardware acceleration, it shows, but then my transitions and animations are crappy.

  2. I do like the Office 2007 applications but it did take some time to learn where things are in the new interface (once you get there then it seems to be an improvement).

    My notebook was made for Vista but I’m actually running Windows Server 2008 as my desktop OS (Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1 have a lot in common but I needed to enable various client features that do not normally run on a server – like wireless networking and the Aero interface). I certainly haven’t seen the problems you described and this only has a fairly basic Intel GMA965 chipset.

  3. I saw you are using Windows 2008 server do give your presentation..how are you doing live demos and viewing them on the laptop and second screen at the same time? (i.e. screen mirroring)

    It appears that Vista has the “mobility center” that allows you to mirror the screens, however this is missing from server 2008.

    Experiments so far I’ve only be able to run apps external to PPT on one or other of the screens, not both at the same time.

  4. Hi Neil – the standard Intel Graphics Media Accelerator for mobile driver includes an applet to contol the desktop output so I haven’t found the absence of the Mobility Center to be an issue.

    I guess it depends on your graphics hardware – with my Intel GMA965 I found that the display cloning was there just by using the function keys (in my case this was Fn and F10) to toggle the display output (between notebook display, external display and both) but I needed to use the Intel driver to run an extended desktop (i.e. one with different contents on each display – like presenter view on screen 1 and presentation content on screen 2).

  5. Anyone else SUFFERING from dragging the scroll bar’s inability to update the thumbnails until let go? This is making PV a LIABILITY on my easel mode tablet!

  6. Thanks for opening up another great 2007 feature. This is very useful for business presentations, especially the more technical ones. I seriously think the new Office interface and its inbuilt styles has pitched up PowerPoint to a new level of graphic capability.

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