Hands-Free PowerPoint Presentations

A hand-free PowerPoint presentation has several advantages over a manually-run slideshow, and is not hard to set up.
PowerPoint presentations are a simple way to display information at a tradeshow or to entertain and inform visitors in your company's reception area. Creating a PowerPoint presentation that runs itself without requiring any user intervention is no more complex than creating the presentation itself. I'll show you how configure your presentation to run automatically and explain some of the special considerations you need to give to a presentation of this type.

» Streamline Your Content

When you're creating a presentation that will be made in front of an audience you likely do so with the intention of speaking as you present each slide. This way you can provide additional information to your audience.

When your presentation is created to be self-running and if it won't have any narration design it to have all the information on each slide that a viewer needs to understand your message. Keep the content on each slide to a minimum so that the message on each slide can be easily absorbed.

Because a visitor may stop only long enough to see two or three slides, choose the content carefully so that even by seeing only a small number of slides the viewer still learns something about your business that will have value to them.

Use visual elements such as charts, photographs, and diagrams to make your presentation attractive to view. Animations such as having bullet point text items appear one element at a time also help create a more interesting kiosk-style presentation. When configuring your animations ensure they run automatically and don't require a mouse click to occur or the presentation will never get past the animated slide.

Ensure that every slide in the presentation contains your company logo and is branded with your company's information so that it is visually associated with your business.

» Timing the Presentation

Because you will not be there to move the presentation forward the presentation must be configured to move forward automatically. To do this select all the slides in the presentation and click the Animations tab on the PowerPoint 2007 ribbon.

From the Advance Slide area select Automatically After and set the number of seconds for the slide to show on the screen. This sets each slide to display for the same time.

To set up the show click the Slideshow tab and select Set Up Slide Show. From the Show Type options click the Browsed at a kiosk (full screen) and then from the Advance Slides list select Using timings, if present and click OK.

The presentation will now run automatically when it is loaded and will also loop when finished and replay automatically until the Esc key is pressed.

» Configure Your Computer

When you configure a presentation to run automatically, take care to disable the screensaver on your computer. This is because even though a slideshow is running on the computer there will be no activity at the keyboard and the screensaver will assume that nobody is working at the computer and it will start automatically and block your presentation.

Save your presentation as a PowerPoint Slide Show file so you can double-click on it in Windows Explorer and launch it automatically. Then, when you exit the presentation you will be taken back to Windows rather than left in PowerPoint with the presentation layout visible on the screen.

To do this, choose File > Save As and from the Save As Type dropdown list choose PowerPoint Show (*.ppsx) and click Save. PPSX files can be edited in PowerPoint the same way as PPTX files can, with the difference being in how they open when you double click on them in Windows Explorer.

» Narrating a Presentation

In a private area such as an office lobby you can run a presentation with narration so viewers can hear and see the presentation. To narrate your presentation, select the Slide Show tab on the Ribbon, select the slide to start narrating from and click the Record Narration option.

Click OK to continue and PowerPoint will display your presentation and you can speak into the microphone to discuss the slide contents. Move forward from one slide to the next, speaking into the microphone. When you are done the narrations are saved automatically with the slides and you should click Save when prompted to save the slide timings as well.

In Slide Sorter View you will see each slide has a different timing — this is the number below its bottom left corner. This corresponds with the time that the slide appeared on the screen as you were narrating the presentation. Set up the slideshow using Slide Show > Set Up Slide Show in the same way as you would a slide show that is not narrated.

Similarly you can configure individual slide timings without narration by choosing Slide Show > Rehearse Timings. Step through the presentation advancing from one slide to the next as you would want you viewer to see the slide show. At the end of the rehearsal you will be prompted to save the timings and these will become the new timings for the kiosk presentation.

Article courtesy of WinPlanet.




Tags: Windows, content, IT, Office, PowerPoint


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