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Rehearse Slide Timings in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Explore the Rehearse feature in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2011
OS: Mac OS X

After creating your presentation slides, you may be satisfied with the outcome. And now it's time to practice your presentation delivery. You need to practice your slide timings, your pace, and most importantly, you need to be comfortable with your slides. And what better to help you than PowerPoint's powerful Rehearse feature that we will explore within this tutorial.

Follow these steps to learn more:

  1. Open the presentation to be rehearsed in PowerPoint 2011. Make sure that your presentation slides are ready to proceed - small changes in the slides may be acceptable after this stage, but nothing that may bring a change in the timings.

  2. Save a copy of your presentation -- always rehearse with a copy of your slides, and not the original. You will understand later in this tutorial the reasons why we suggest you work with a copy.

  3. Now access the Slide Show tab of the Ribbon, and click the Rehearse button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1, below.

    Rehearse button
    Figure 1: Rehearse button

  4. This will launch your presentation in Presenter view, as shown in Figure 2. You can also see the Timings bar, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2.

    Presenter view
    Figure 2: Presenter view

  5. Within the Timings bar, you can see the time being spent on the current slide and also the collective time being spent on the entire presentation. Actually, although the slides themselves are not being recorded, the timings are recorded even during rehearsal, and we shall explore this part during the end of this tutorial.

    This interface lets you rehearse your slide timings. Imagine you are in front of a live audience, and are delivering a presentation. To move to the next slide, or the next animation in your presentation, click the right-arrow below the Audience view area, shown highlighted in red within Figure 3.

    Right-arrow below the Audience view area
    Figure 3: Right-arrow below the Audience view area

    To keep track of the time being spent and also to pause and resume the task if slide rehearsing, use the options within the Timings bar, as shown in Figure 4.

    Options within the Timings bar
    Figure 4: Options within the Timings bar

    Let us now explain the options within the Timing bar, as marked within Figure 4:

    1. Pause: Lets you pause your rehearsal - this is great when you want to take a break, or need to attend an unexpected phone call while rehearsing. When you press this button, it will change from Pause to Play button. Press the Play button to resume your rehearsal. When you resume, the time below the Current Slide within your timing bar will continue counting from the time when it was paused.

    2. Repeat: This is almost the same as the Pause option, but with one crucial difference. When you resume, the Slide Time in your Timing bar will continue from where you left. If you select the Repeat option, it will reset the counting and start from 0 seconds again for the active slide.

    3. Current Slide: Shows you how much time you have used to rehearse for the active slide.

    4. Total: Shows you the time spent for all slides that you have rehearsed yet.

  6. Once you are done rehearsing your slides, press the Esc key or press the Exit Show button, shown highlighted in red within Figure 5.

    Exit Show button
    Figure 5: Exit Show button

  7. This will open a message window displaying the total time for the Slide Show, and also asking whether you want to save the timings, as shown in Figure 6.

    Do you want to save your slide timings?
    Figure 6: Do you want to save your slide timings?

  8. You can click the Yes button. Even if any changes are made to your presentation by PowerPoint to preserve these timings, that's perfectly acceptable since we are working on a copy of the presentation! Yes, that's precisely why we suggested in Step 2 that you make a copy of your presentation. Once you click Yes, you will be back to your slides shown within the Slide Sorter view, as shown in Figure 7.

    Noticed all the transition timings?
    Figure 7: Noticed all the transition timings?

    Here you will see that each slide has its own transition time. This has pros and cons -- the advantage here is that you are aware of the amount of time you need to deliver each individual slide. The disadvantage is that if you use these slides for your final presentation, then you slides will advance without you being aware! Of course, that's why we only rehearsed with a copy of your presentation.

  9. You can re-rehearse any number of times, and each time, your older transition times will be overwritten. Again, work on a copy of your presentation.

See Also:

Rehearse Slide Timings in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Rehearse Slide Timings in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows


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