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Terrific Tips and Tricks in PowerPoint: Learn to Present Like a Pro

Terrific Tips and Tricks in PowerPoint: Learn to Present Like a Pro

October 23, 2017 in Corporate IT Training, Microsoft Office / by Craig Gerdes

There is no shortage of tips for creating and delivering an effective presentation in PowerPoint. Just search the web and you will find lots of advice. Here is Microsoft’s official article on the subject.

My goal for this blog posting is not to repeat some of the generic information and suggestions out there but to provide less common tools, applications, and tricks such as:

  • Using tools and shortcut keys for screen and cursor options
  • Utilizing special applications such as Mix (Free Add-in) and Office Presentation Service (Free Option)
  • Employing special tricks like hiding slides and creating custom shows

Using Tools and Shortcut Keys for Screen and Cursor Options

In-Show Pop-up Toolbar


This toolbar appears in the lower-left corner of the screen during a full-screen Slide Show when you mouse over this area. You can use it to navigate and perform other tasks such as:

  • Use a laser pointer, pen, or highlighter to draw attention to key points and apply annotations. You can also choose colors and use the eraser.


  • Use the zoom and pan feature to “zero in” on a specific section of the slide.

Presenter View

If the computer you are using for your presentation has multiple monitors, then use Presenter View. Presenter View is a great way for you to view your presentation with speaker notes and other tools on one computer monitor while the audience views the entire full-screen presentation on a different monitor.

If you are using PowerPoint 2013 or 2016, just connect both monitors and PowerPoint automatically sets up Presenter View for you. If you are working with PowerPoint on a single monitor and you want to try out Presenter View, press ALT + F5 on your keyboard, or when you are in Slide Show View, select Show Presenter View.


The following illustration shows the various tools that are available to you from Presenter View.


  1. Slide Number
  2. Current Slide audience is viewing
  3. Next Slide Preview
  4. Speaker’s Notes (if any)
  5. Go to Previous Slide
  6. Go to Next Slide
  7. Elapsed Time in hours and minutes
  8. Pen, Laser Pointer, or Highlighter Tool
  9. View Thumbnails of all slides in the presentation
  10. Zoom and Pan Tool
  11. Black Screen

To manually determine which monitor 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.

If you want Presenter View turned off, on the Slide Show tab of the ribbon, clear the check box titled Use Presenter View.

Helpful Shortcut Keys

  • Display a blank black slide, or return to the presentation from a blank black slide. Press B.
  • Display a blank white slide, or return to the presentation from a blank white slide. Press W.
  • Hide the mouse pointer and navigation buttons immediately. Press Ctrl+H.
  • View the computer task bar. Press Ctrl+T.
  • Erase on-screen annotations. Press E.
  • Show or hide ink markup. Press Ctrl+M.

Utilizing special applications: Mix (Free Add-in) and Office Presentation Service (Free Option)

Mix Add-in

Office Mix is a free add-in that allows PowerPoint to be interactive with polls and quizzes and allows users to easily create, publish, and share. This can simulate a basic asynchronous online course. Learn more by watching this short video. You can download the free application, view some examples, and watch a short tutorial by going to this webpage.

While some of the features of Mix are already available in PowerPoint either as a regular tool or as an add-in (refer to the blog on Awesome Add-ins), Mix provides many of these options all in one place and includes some special possibilities such as:

  • Thumbnail webcam recording (for personal touch, i.e. talking head)
  • Uploading and sharing preferences (for playback anytime, anywhere)

Mix is a new ribbon tab once you download and install it.


To create a thumbnail webcam recording:

    1. Click Mix > Slide Recording.
    2. Then on the resulting screen, choose your webcam and microphone and set other options.PowerPoint-Tips-Tricks-6
    3. Finally, click the Record button.

To upload and share:

  1. Click Mix > Upload to Office Mix.
  2. A task pane will open on the right side of your screen. Click Next.PowerPoint-Tips-Tricks-7
  3. At the next screen, login to your free Microsoft account if necessary. Also, choose between uploading new or existing, and select if you want to create a video to watch offline and on mobile devices.PowerPoint-Tips-Tricks-8
  4. After the file has uploaded and processed, click the Show Me My Mix button. This will take you to your Office Mix Preview webpage.
  5. On this webpage, you can type a description, select a category, enter tags and keywords, set permission and sharing options, and copy your URL. You can also email, share via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and get an embed code to add to your website or blog.PowerPoint-Tips-Tricks-9
  6. You can also view the public gallery of Mixes or manage your watched or uploaded Mixes in My Mixes. You can edit details, review statistics such as number of views and average time spent, view comments, download, and delete.PowerPoint-Tips-Tricks-10

Office Presentation Service

You can deliver your PowerPoint presentation online using the Office Presentation Service, a free, public, service that allows others to follow along in their web browser. No setup is required but you may be asked to login to your free Microsoft account to get started. This is similar to a synchronous webinar.

To do this:

  1. Click File > Share > Present Online. (Alternatively, click Slide Show > Present Online > Office Presentation Service. Login if necessary.
  2. Select the Enable remote viewers to download the presentation check box, if desired.
  3. Click Present Online.PowerPoint-Tips-Tricks-11
  4. To send a meeting invitation to attendees, choose one of the following:
  • Copy Link – and paste it in an email or somewhere where others can access it.
  • Send in Email – You will not be able to email your presentation directly from PowerPoint. Instead, this will open a pre-formatted message in your default email program with a link to the presentation. Just add your recipients.PowerPoint-Tips-Tricks-12
  1. When you are ready to start your presentation, click Start Presentation.
  2. To end your online presentation, press Esc to get out of Slide Show View, and then on the Present Online tab, click End Online Presentation. To confirm that you want to end the presentation, click End Online Presentation.PowerPoint-Tips-Tricks-13PowerPoint-Tips-Tricks-14

Employing Special Tricks like Hiding Slides and Creating Custom Shows

Hide Slides

If there is a slide or slides in your presentation that you do not want to appear in the slide show, you can hide the slide(s). This is particularly useful when some content may not be appropriate for different audiences.

To do this:

In the slide navigation pane on the left, do one of the following:

  • To hide a slide, right-click the slide that you want to hide, and then click Hide Slide.
  • To unhide a previously hidden slide, right-click the slide that you want to show, and then click Hide Slide.PowerPoint-Tips-Tricks-15

Custom Shows

You can adapt a presentation for different audiences by creating a Custom Show and then use it to present only certain slides from your presentation.

To do this:

  1. Go to Slide Show > Custom Slide Show, and then select Custom Shows.PowerPoint-Tips-Tricks-16
  2. In the Custom Shows dialog box, select New.PowerPoint-Tips-Tricks-17
  3. Under Slides in presentation, choose the slides that you want to include in the custom show, and then select Add.
  4. To change the order in which slides appear, under Slides in custom show, select a slide, and then click one of the arrows to move the slide up or down in the list.
  5. Type a name in the Slide show name box, and then click OK.PowerPoint-Tips-Tricks-18

To view a custom show, click the name of the show in the Custom Shows dialog box, and then click Show or select it from the drop-down list from Slide Show > Custom Slide Show.PowerPoint-Tips-Tricks-19

For more information about these features, take a PowerPoint Class from Centriq. For course descriptions and dates, see our website at https://centriq.com/corporate/class-schedule/?q=PowerPoint.

This is the last blog article in this PowerPoint series but please plan to attend a free PowerPoint Lunch and Learn on Wednesday, November 1. We will feature live demonstrations of all of the items covered during this PowerPoint blog series. If you would like to attend, CLICK HERE to register.

In addition, if you would like more information about PowerPoint or other training classes available, contact a Centriq Training Advisor online or at 913.322.7062 for assistance.