Auto Act

If I'm giving a presentation, I may not want to have to stop to click a mouse to advance the slides. In my own case, I need my hands free to sign autographs. Is there a way to automate the presentation? My bet is that you can do this. I mean, your middle name is "Automatic", right? Or was it Bartholomew?

Automating your presentation
An automated presentation is one where you don't have to use the mouse or the keyboard to advance the slides. In other words, the slides advance by themselves.

To automate your presentation, you must set timings for each slide. A good way to set the timings is to use the Rehearse Timings feature.

If you have already gone through your presentation using the Rehearsed Timings feature and you were satisfied with the result, but you had clicked No to keeping the timings, you can simply check the Use Rehearsed Timings box in the Set Up Group in the Slide Show tab. You're done. Your presentation is now automated.

Use Rehearsed Timings check box

Follow these steps to add timings to your slides and automate your presentation:

    1. Click the Slide Show tab, and then click Rehearse Timings in the Set Up Group.

    2. Rehearse your Slide Show as you did in the previous section. When your presentation is done, a message box appears, asking you if you want to record the timings.

    3. Click Yes. PowerPoint will record the time you spend on each slide and apply this to your presentation. Your Slide Show will now run automatically.

Presentation time dialog box

Note: Remember, you can also set timings for your slides using the Slide Transition dialog box. A disadvantage of this method, though, is that you're only guessing at how long each slide should run.

If you can add your own narration and time the slides, does the human have to be there at all to do the presentation?

Nope. You can just put a computer running me in a room and I can do the presentation myself. This is very handy at conventions or at school science fairs -- where the presenter can't be there all the time.

Wow! I could just have you present this show for Sue and me! That way we could vacation in Tahiti...

Shh. Don't tell our producer that. We might be out of a job!

Creating a self-run kiosk presentation
If you're not going to be available to run your Slide Show, create a self-running kiosk presentation. This sort of presentation is often used at trade shows or conventions. Once the show is started, it runs in a continuous loop until someone presses the ESC key on the keyboard.

When designing a self-running presentation, you can set up the Slide Show to run with automatic timings, or you can set it up so the viewer can move through the show with mouse clicks.

The following steps show you how to create a self-running kiosk presentation with automatic timings.

    1. Automate your presentation using the steps shown above.

    2. Click the Slide Show tab, then click the Set Up Show button. The Set Up Show dialog box will appear.

Selecting Set up Show option

    3. Under Show type, click Browsed at a kiosk (full screen).

    4. Under Advance slides, click Using timings, if present.

Checking your options

    5. Click OK.

Your presentation is now self-running. Once it is started, it will loop over and over until someone hits the ESC key.

Quick Quiz