When to Use Speaker Notes in PowerPoint

Speaker notes keep a presenter on track during a presentation

Scientist giving lecture about spring technology in conference room
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Speaker notesĀ are notes added to PowerPoint presentation slides as a reference for the presenter. An area of a PowerPoint slide that is hidden during the presentation is reserved for notes for the speaker. Here the presenter jots important key points that he wants to cover during the presentation. Only the speaker can see the notes.

The speaker can print these notes out, accompanied by a thumbnail version of the appropriate slide, to keep as a handy reference to use when he is making his oral presentation.

Adding Speaker Notes in PowerPoint 2016

Speaker notes may prevent you from skipping over an important point you mean to make. Add them to the slides as a prompt to keep your presentation going smoothly. To add speaker notes:

  1. With your PowerPoint file open, go to the View menu and select Normal.
  2. Select the thumbnail of the slide you want to add a note to in the left panel to open a note field directly under the full-sized slide.
  3. Click where it says Click to add notes and type your comment.

Using Presenter View During a Presentation

To see your notes while you make your presentation and prevent your audience from seeing them, use Presenter View. Here's how:

  1. With the PowerPoint file open, go to the View menu.
  2. Select Presenter View.

While in Presenter View, you'll see the current slide, the upcoming slide and your notes on your laptop. Your audience sees only the current slide. The presenter view includes a timer and a clock so you can tell if you are running short or long on your presentation. A pen tool allows you to draw directly on the slide during your presentation for emphasis. However, anything you draw at this point is not saved to the presentation file.

To exit Presenter View, click End Show at the top of the PowerPoint screen.