Use ‘Rehearse Timing’ to master your Powerpoint Presentation

Use 'Rehearse Timing' to master your Powerpoint Presentation

Your presentation is not a race. Use ‘Rehearse Timing’ not only to learn to slow down, but to sort out your animations.

You’ve finished your Powerpoint presentation and it’s looking great, but now you need to add slide transitions and animations, or maybe you’ve already added them, but you don’t know if it really fits with the presentation.

The easiest and most effective way that I use is by using the ‘Rehearse timing’ function on your ribbon. This allows you to figure out what timings you SHOULD be using, allowing you to make adjustments/decisions.

So how do you do that?

  1. Open the Powerpoint presentation onto the first slide of the presentation.
  2. Select the “Rehearse timing” button on the Slide Show menu. The Rehearsal toolbar will appear and the timer will start.
  3. Run through the presentation. Make sure that you stand up, pretend you have an audience (or enlist your cat and dog to listen) and launch into it – out loud! You speak at a different speed to what you read it, so make sure you read out loud. While you’re doing this Powerpoint will record the timings for you. Nice eh?

Once you have gone through the entire presentation, Powerpoint will ask you to Save the timings – these timings will be added to your presentation. If you think you rushed it too much, or dragged things out then you can always alter these timings, no biggie. Or you can start from the top and do it again and again until you’re happy. Once you have set your timings you can either go back and adjust your animations and transitions – if you’ve already added them – or add them now, since you have an idea on flow and how it will be presented.

It’s really important to take your time with this step as the delivery is the key to your audience paying attention. Your presentation design needs to be awesome, but if you’re rushing through it, or the animations make you feel dizzy, then you know you’re going to lose the audience. Which means you’ve wasted everyone’s time (including your own.)

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re adding transitions/animations and rehearsing the timing:

  • Is the presentation meant to accompany your talk where each slide will have a different timing?
  • Do you have time constraints? I.e. do you have 3 minutes max?
  • Are you presenting this or is someone else? If it’s for someone else, how fast do they usually speak?
  • Will this be a photo album where all the slides will be onscreen for the same length of time?

Creating an effective Powerpoint presentation isn’t too difficult since Powerpoint provides you all the tools, you just have to use them wisely. The Rehearse Timing feature is a fantastic tool to help you feel confident and prepared before you step in front of your audience.

Do you have a Powerpoint tool that you love to use?