How to Create and Use Notes in Powerpoint

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  • 0:01 Trainer Notes
  • 0:31 Adding Notes to Slides
  • 2:05 Presenter View
  • 4:22 Printing Slides
  • 4:57 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karen Sorensen

Karen has a Bachelors in Communications. She has 25 years of experience in Information Systems, Adult Learning and Virtual Training.

Adding notes to your slides can be a good way to give yourself speaking reminders and is an invaluable aid to jog your memory while presenting. This lesson will discuss how to add notes, use the Presenter View and print Notes Pages in PowerPoint.

Trainer Notes

Notes, or what some people refer to as trainer notes, are a way for you to add key points to a presentation that only you can see. You can give yourself reminders to jog your memory during a presentation, and notes can also help you stay on topic and keep you from straying too far away from your subject.

In this lesson, you will learn how to add notes to your slides, how to print your slides to include your notes and how to view your notes privately while running your slide show.

Adding Notes to Your Slides

Let's begin with learning the steps to adding notes to your slides. When you are ready to add your key speaking points and reminders, click on the View ribbon menu, and under the Presentation Views grouping of commands, click on Notes Pages.

This will load a split page with your slide on top and an area for your notes on the bottom. Click inside the notes box and begin typing your text. Now, because PowerPoint will scale your page to fit both the slide and your notes, the text may be small and hard to read or make it difficult to see what you are typing. To solve this problem, use the zoom slider (it's in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen) to zoom in until your notes are legible. To return to normal view, click on Normal in the Presentation Views group.

To see your notes in Normal view or even add or edit your notes, PowerPoint will split the screen with your slide on top and your notes on the bottom. However, by default, you will only see a couple of lines. You can make the notes area bigger in Normal View. Do you see the horizontal separator between slide and notes? If you drag that upwards, you can increase the notes area. And by the way, if you don't see the notes in Normal view, they may be hidden. To unhide, click on the Notes command in the toolbar, along the bottom of the screen.

Presenter View

So, in the past, you needed two monitors to show both your slides (what the audience sees) and your notes at the same time. With PowerPoint 2013, you can use one monitor for both, and here's how it works.

When using one monitor, click on the Slide Show ribbon menu and in the Start Slide Show grouping of commands, click on From Beginning. This will start your presentation. Down in the left-hand corner of the slide, you will see six circled commands. Click on the command furthest to the right - it has three dots inside a circle. Choose Show Presenter View from the menu.

This will split your screen, side-by-side, into two sections. Your slide will be on the left (this is what the audience will see), and your notes will be on the right. Pretty sweet!

There are a couple of added benefits when using the presenter view:

  • In the upper, left-hand corner, above the slide, there is a timer. This will help you stay on track with your timing of your presentation. If you are worried about how much time you spend on each slide, you could put timestamps into your notes. This will help you remember where in the presentation you should be at specific time intervals.

  • Next, right below the slide, you will see five icons. The first one is your pen or highlighter. While presenting, you can highlight specific points on the slide or even use the pen to write additional notes directly on the slide.

  • The See All Slides icon (it's the second one from the left under your slide) allows you to see all of your slides in one view at any point in your presentation. You could use this to take a sneak peek at the slides coming up next. You can view all your slides without the audience knowing you ever left the slide they are viewing.

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