Weekly Computer Tip # 217
12 January 2008

Rehearse and time the delivery of a presentation
(PowerPoint 2003-2007)

Research shows that the Number One Fear amongst adults is public speaking. But as we know, practice makes perfect so if you need to give a presentation rehearse it until you're happy with it. If you are using PowerPoint to support your talk - remember, PowerPoint is there for your audience's benefit, not yours! - you will need to rehearse the timing of your presentation to make sure that it fits within the given time frame. While you rehearse, you can use the Rehearse Timings feature to record the time that you need to present each slide.

Here's how:

  1. (In PowerPoint 2007) On the Slide Show tab, in the Set Up group, click Rehearse Timings. OR (In PowerPoint 2003) In Normal view or in Slide Sorter view, choose the Slide Show, Rehearse Timings command, or click on the Rehearse Timings button on the Slide Sorter toolbar.
  2. Click the mouse button to move from one slide to the next, until all slides of your presentation have been displayed. Make sure that you display each slide long enough for all the information to be conveyed and/or read by your audience.
  3. In the prompt box that appears when the slide show is completed, click on the Yes button to save the slide timings or click on the No button if you do not want to save the timings.

If you saved the timings you can use the presentation to run continuously, for example for an exhibition information booth; have another look at tip # 138 (tip_138.php) for more information.

By the way, after adding timings to your slides, you can still manually advance to the next slide during a slide show, as you would normally do.

Finally, move over J.K. ... The third edition of the Essential Business Guide has arrived. And page 214 is all about the steps I recommend to prevent death by PowerPoint. Interested to find out more? We still have some places left on the popular half day Boost PowerPoint beyond bullet points seminar, planned for the afternoon of 4 February. It's GBP97 (+VAT) only and you could be the lucky winner of your own copy of the Essential Business Guide, packed with practical tips you wish you'd read ten years ago! (RRP GBP24.95) See beyond_bullet_points.html for full details.