How to See Notes While Presenting in PowerPoint: A Step-by-Step Guide

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By Matthew Simpson

Have you ever found yourself stumbling over your words while presenting in PowerPoint because you couldn’t see your notes? Well, worry no more! In this article, I’ll guide you through a simple process to keep your notes visible, so you can deliver a smooth and confident presentation.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to See Notes While Presenting in PowerPoint

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what they will achieve. By following these instructions, you’ll learn how to view your notes on your laptop or tablet screen while the audience only sees the slides on the big screen. This way, you can easily refer to your notes without anyone noticing.

Step 1: Open your PowerPoint presentation

Open the PowerPoint presentation you want to use for your talk.

Once you have your PowerPoint presentation open, make sure all your slides and notes are in order. It’s crucial that your notes are well-organized and concise so you can quickly glance at them during your presentation.

Step 2: Click on the ‘Slide Show’ tab

Locate and click on the ‘Slide Show’ tab in the PowerPoint toolbar.

In the ‘Slide Show’ tab, you will find various options to customize your presentation’s playback. For our purpose, we’ll focus on the ‘Monitors’ section.

Step 3: Check the box ‘Use Presenter View’

In the ‘Monitors’ section, check the box next to ‘Use Presenter View.’

By checking ‘Use Presenter View,’ you’re enabling a special mode in PowerPoint that shows your notes on one screen (your laptop or tablet) while displaying the full slides on another screen (like a projector or external monitor).

Step 4: Select the monitor for the audience

From the ‘Monitor’ dropdown menu, select the screen that the audience will see.

Make sure to choose the correct screen for the audience view. If you’re unsure which one it is, you can always click the ‘Identify Monitors’ button to help you out.

Step 5: Start the slideshow

Finally, start your slideshow by clicking on the ‘From Beginning’ or ‘From Current Slide’ buttons.

Once you start the slideshow with ‘Presenter View’ enabled, you will see your current slide, next slide, and notes on your screen, while the audience will only see the current slide. Now you can confidently deliver your presentation, knowing you have your notes to guide you.

After completing these steps, you will have your notes neatly displayed on your device while your audience sees only the slides. This means you can keep track of what to say next without breaking the flow of your presentation.

Tips: Enhancing Your PowerPoint Presentation Experience

  • Keep your notes concise and easy to read at a glance, so you’re not tempted to read them word-for-word.
  • Practice your presentation with the ‘Presenter View’ beforehand to get comfortable switching between slides and referring to your notes.
  • Use bullet points in your notes to break up information into manageable chunks.
  • Customize the text size and color of your notes to make them more readable for you.
  • If possible, use a remote clicker to advance slides so you can move around freely while presenting.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if ‘Presenter View’ is not working?

Make sure that your device is connected to a second screen or projector properly and that you have extended your display settings to include that screen.

Can I edit my notes while in ‘Presenter View’?

Yes, you can edit your notes while in ‘Presenter View,’ but it’s best to have them finalized before you start your presentation to avoid last-minute changes and potential distractions.

Will my audience see any changes I make to my notes during the presentation?

No, your audience will not see your notes at all. They will only see the slides.

Can I use ‘Presenter View’ without a projector or second screen?

You can rehearse with ‘Presenter View’ without a second screen, but for the actual presentation, you will need a second screen for the audience to see the slides.

Can I use animations and transitions while in ‘Presenter View’?

Yes, animations and transitions will work as usual. ‘Presenter View’ does not affect the playback of your slides.


  1. Open your PowerPoint presentation.
  2. Click on the ‘Slide Show’ tab.
  3. Check the box ‘Use Presenter View.’
  4. Select the monitor for the audience.
  5. Start the slideshow.


Presenting in PowerPoint can be nerve-wracking, especially when you’re trying to remember all your talking points. By using the ‘Presenter View’ feature, you can keep your notes right in front of you while your audience stays focused on the slides. It’s like having a secret cheat sheet that only you can see! Now that you know how to see notes while presenting in PowerPoint, it’s time to put this knowledge into practice. Go ahead and give it a try during your next presentation. With your notes by your side, you’ll be able to deliver a more confident and engaging presentation. And remember, the key to a great presentation is not just what you show on the screen, but how you tell the story. So, keep practicing, and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through!