How to Add Speaker Notes in PowerPoint

Speaker notes can be very useful to highlight the ideas you want to talk about during your presentation. In this new Slidesgo School tutorial, you’ll learn how to enter speaker notes, how to activate the Presenter View and how to use its tools.

Adding Speaker Notes

  • Open your presentation in PowerPoint.
  • At the bottom of the screen there’s a text field with the message “Click to add notes”. The text that you enter here will be visible for you during your presentation, but not for your audience.
Adding speaker notes in PowerPoint
Adding speaker notes
  • If you can’t see this text field, click View → Notes. You can also click the Notes button located at the bottom of the screen.
Displaying the speaker notes text field in PowerPoint
Displaying the speaker notes text field

Presenting with Speaker Notes

  • To display the speaker notes, you must have two screens: one for the presentation and another for the notes.
  • Open your presentation in PowerPoint.
  • Go to the Slide Show tab.
Slide Show tab in PowerPoint
Slide Show tab
  • In the Monitors group, check “Use Presenter View”. If you have two screens, this box will be automatically checked. Your presentation will be displayed on the secondary screen and the Presenter View will be on the main screen. You can change this by selecting a different option from the Monitor drop-down list.
Use Presenter View option in PowerPoint
Use Presenter View option
  • Click the Slideshow button located at the bottom of the screen. As an alternative, you can click From Beginning, on the Slide Show tab, or just press F5. Your presentation will start in Presenter View.
Entering the Presenter View in PowerPoint
Entering the Presenter View

Using the Presenter View

There are different options at your disposal during your presentation. Some of them are exclusive of this view, so let’s talk about this. 

  • Current slide and Next slide: The current slide and the next one will always be visible for you.
Current slide and next slide in Presenter View
Current slide and next slide
  • Slide number: At the bottom of the screen, click the left arrow to go back to the previous slide, or click the right arrow to move on to the next one.
Changing between slides in Presenter View
Changing between slides
  • Pen and laser pointer Tools: You can activate the pen to draw on the slides, or the laser pointer to highlight the contents of the slide.
Pen and laser pointer tools in Presenter View
Pen and laser pointer tools
  • See all slides: If you click this button, you’ll see all the slides of your presentation.
See all slides option in Presenter View
See all slides option
  • Zoom into the slides: You can zoom into any part of the screen.
Zooming into a slide in Presenter View
Zooming into a slide
  • Black or unblack slide show: This allows you to hide or unhide the current slide.
Hiding and unhiding a slide in Presenter View
Hiding and unhiding a slide
  • Toggle subtitles: If you click this button, the subtitles will appear on the screen. This button is only available in Office 365 and newer versions.
Enabling subtitles in Presenter View
Enabling subtitles
  • Zoom: Under the speaker notes you’ll find two buttons that allow you to increase or decrease the size of the text.
Zoom options in Presenter View
Zoom options
  • More slide show options: These include hiding the slide, changing the position of the subtitles and disabling the speaker notes.
More slide show options
More slide show options
  • At the top of the screen you’ll find three buttons that allow you to access the taskbar, change the main screen or end the presentation.
Additional options in Presenter View
Additional options