Stop being a slave to your PowerPoint slides

In my last post The lost art of notes I suggested that you have your own set of hard-copy notes so that you’re no longer reliant on PowerPoint for your notes.

The second step to break free of PowerPoint as your autocue is to have a printout of your PowerPoint slides.

The benefits of a printout of your PowerPoint slides

  • Having a printout of your slides means that you know the next slide before you click your remote. No longer do you have to click before you open your mouth. You can introduce slides, you can take turns with your slides – you can dance with your slides.
  • Your audience will be more engaged, because your presentation is not a repetitive sequence of click-speak, click-speak, click-speak.
  • You can jump between slides to respond to an audience question.

But none of the print options within PowerPoint give you quite what you need. The ideal printout of your PowerPoint slides has:

  1. The number of each slide so that you can jump between slides (enter the number of the slide on your keyboard and press ‘Enter’).
  2. About 15 slides to an A4 landscape page, so that you can see a large chunk of slides at any one time and don’t need to constantly turn over the page to see what’s next.

The ideal PowerPoint slide printout

This screencast walks you through the steps to create the ideal PowerPoint slide printout:

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://speakingaboutpresenting.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/PP-Printout2.swf” height=”300″ width=”550″ /]

And here’s the steps in hardcopy if you want to be able to quickly refer to them:

  1. Click on View menu, then click on the Slidesorter View.
  2. In the Slidesorter View adjust the size of the slides so that you can get the right number within the screenshot. 66% gives you 15 slides which I find about right.
  3. Press the “PrintScreen” key on your keyboard. This will paste your current screenshot into the clipboard.
  4. Go back to the View menu and click on Normal View.
  5. Create a blank side at the end of your presentation.
  6. Right-click on the slide and click Paste to paste the screenshot from the clipboard onto the slide.
  7. Click on the screenshot to select it – this will bring up the Picture Toolbar. Click on the Crop button and crop the screenshot so that you’re left with only the slides.
  8. Print the slide by clicking on File, Print. Click on Current Slide or enter the number of the slide and click OK.

The next time you present with PowerPoint, create a printout of your PowerPoint slides, so that you can dance with your slides and engage your audience.

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