Rehearse Slide Timings in PowerPoint 2010
Explore the Rehearse Timings feature in PowerPoint 2010.
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8
If you are happy with the presentation slides you created, you should then move towards practicing your presentation delivery, your timing, and your pace. More importantly, it is time to be comfortable with your slides. PowerPoint itself can help you better handle this job via it’s PowerPoint's powerful Rehearse Timings feature that we will explore within this tutorial.
Follow these steps to learn more:
- Open the presentation that you want to rehearse in PowerPoint 2010. Do note that your presentation slides must be "done" to proceed - small changes in the slides may be acceptable after this stage, but nothing else.
- Choose to save a copy of your presentation - always rehearse with a copy of your slides, and not the original. We will look at reasons why we suggest you work with a copy later in this tutorial.
- Now access the Slide Show tab of the
Ribbon, and click the
Rehearse Timings button, as shown highlighted in red within
Figure 1, below.
Figure 1: Rehearse Timings button
- This will launch your presentation in
Slide Show view, but with one
difference. Unlike in Slide Show view, you now can also see a floating toolbar as shown highlighted in
red within Figure 2, below.
Figure 2: Rehearse Slides view with floating toolbar
- Figure 3 below shows just the
Recording toolbar. It's strange that you see a "Recording" toolbar during rehearsal. 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.
The toolbar interface lets you rehearse your slide timings. Imagine you are in front of a live audience, and are delivering a presentation.
Figure 3: Recording toolbar
Let us now explain to you the options within Figure 3, from left to right:
- Right Arrow: This lets you move to the next slide, or the next animation in your
presentation. You can also use the N, Spacebar, or Right Arrow
keys on your keyboard.
- Pause: Let you pause your rehearsal – this is great when you want to take a break, or need
to attend an unexpected phone call while rehearsing. Once you press this button, you will see the
Recording Paused message window shown in Figure 4, below.
Figure 4: Pause and Resume
Press the Resume Recording button to resume your rehearsal. When you resume, the Slide Time in your Recording toolbar will also resume. In the example shown in Figure 4, we paused at 7 seconds.
- Slide Time: Shows you how much time you have used to rehearse for the active slide.
- Repeat: Is almost the same as the Pause option, but with one crucial
difference. When you resume, the Slide Time in your Recording toolbar will
reset from where you left. In the example shown in Figure 4, we paused at 7 seconds. While
resuming, we will thus start 0 seconds for the active slide.
- Cumulative Time: Shows you the time spent for all slides that you have rehearsed yet.
- Right Arrow: This lets you move to the next slide, or the next animation in your presentation. You can also use the N, Spacebar, or Right Arrow keys on your keyboard.
- Once you are done rehearsing your slides, press the Esc key or press the
Close button on the Recording toolbar. PowerPoint will prompt you via a message
window whether you want to save the timings (see Figure 5).
Figure 5: Do you want to save the new slide timings?
- You should probably say Yes. Even if any changes are made to your presentation by PowerPoint
to preserve these timings, that's perfectly acceptable since you realize that 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
- Once you click Yes, PowerPoint will display your slides in Slide Sorter view, as shown in Figure 6. On the surface you cannot see the changes made.
Figure 6: Notice all the transition times?
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.
- 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.
- Make sure you save your presentation often.
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