Tip of the week # 464
30 October 2015

Specify the time to spend on a slide before advancing to the next (Microsoft PowerPoint) *

The other day I ran one of my half day PowerPoint training sessions. Going through ideas how to prevent death by PowerPoint, the delegate told me about Pecha Kucha, a presentation-style in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each, ensuring you keep the presentation short (6 minutes and 40 seconds, if you do the maths) and fast-paced. So what if you like the idea to use the same timing for and automatically advance each slide?

Here's how:

  1. Create your (20) slides, as normal. (Click underneath the first title slide in the Slides tab on the left hand side and press ENTER 19 times.)
  2. Select the slides that you want to set the timing for. (Press CTRL + A to select all slides.)
  3. On the Transitions tab, in the Timing group, under Advance Slide, untick the On Mouse Click check box. (In version 2007 this check box can be found on the Animations tab.)
  4. Double-click on the two zeros in the middle of the After box, type 20 (so that it reads 00:20.00) and press ENTER. (The check box will be automatically ticked, so you can save yourself some time.)
  5. Click on the Apply To All button.

With a simple change of settings, the slide show will run continuously . on the Slide Show tab, in the Set Up group, click on Set Up Slide Show and tick the Loop continuously until 'Esc' check box. This can be particularly useful if you have to man an information booth or kiosk in an exhibition area where it often isn't enough to have a well-put-together stand with glossy posters and cute freebies. As you're competing for the attention of the visitors, you might want to put together a self-running slide show, explaining your products and services. Personally, I use it to show my favourite tips to those who arrive early at a seminar, allowing them time to scribble down the ones that strike a chord.

By the way, if you're interested in the half day Boost PowerPoint beyond bullet points training session (97 pounds only) but cannot make the day (Tuesday 10 November) ... this course can also be held on-site at a time that suits you/your colleagues. An on-site course can even work out to be more cost effective! Although based in Cambridge, training can be delivered at any location. Please contact me to discuss your particular requirements.

* Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.