Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.
PowerPoint speaker notes can help you master an important presentation at school or work. List all the points you want to cover and never lose your train of thought again. And just in case you can’t see the screen while speaking, print the notes as a backup.
Let us show you how to add speaker notes in PowerPoint, how to see them during your presentation, and how to print your notes.
Why Add PowerPoint Speaker Notes
Projecting confidence when delivering a presentation is no easy job. If you fear you might forget a tricky detail of your presentation, or simply want it to go off without a hitch — speaker notes is that reassurance you’ve been looking for.
You can refer to your notes while delivering the slideshow to your audience. During the presentation, the notes are visible on your monitor but aren’t visible to everybody else. Adding the notes is also a great way to store extra information that you’d like to share with the audience during the presentation but would rather leave outside the slides.
How to Add Notes in PowerPoint
In order to add speaker notes, when working on your presentation start typing your remarks in a box that appears below each slide. If for some reason the Notes panel doesn’t appear, bring it up by clicking Notes on the taskbar at the bottom of the PowerPoint window.
You can enlarge the Notes panel if your notes exceed the allotted length. Use the vertical scroll bar on the right side or drag the panel’s top line upward (not available in PowerPoint Online).
When you begin your presentation and go into the Presenter View, you’ll get access to the notes, while only the slides will appear on the projector screen for your audience.
Change the size of the text in the Notes box to make it comfortable for you to read during the presentation.
How to Format Notes Pages
You can view your notes in Presenter View or print them to have them physically in front of you. However, before they’re ready for printing, you might want to see what your notes will look like on a page.
In order to see how your notes will print as well as to see the full effect of any text formatting you choose to apply (e.g. font colors, changing headers and footers), you’ll need to switch to Notes Page view. Go to the View tab and click Notes Page.
In Notes Page view you’ll find your notes below each slide in the presentation, all on separate pages. In this mode, you can add data, such as charts, tables, or other illustrations to your notes. Here you can also enlarge, reposition, or format the slide or notes area.
As you craft your notes, keep in mind that all objects and pictures that you add in Notes Page view will appear on your printed notes page but will be invisible on your screen when you change to Normal view. That doesn’t apply to text edits — those are visible in both Notes Page and Normal views.
For more formatting options, like changing the font style for all notes, change to Notes Master. Under View tab choose Master, then click Notes Master.
With Notes Master you can put logos on your notes pages, pictures, as well as change the look and position of the slide area, notes area, edit headers, footers, page numbers, and date.
How to Print PowerPoint With Notes
If viewing your notes in Presenter View during your presentation isn’t enough, you can print them. Print your PowerPoint speaker notes without slide thumbnails, or include them, either to hand out to your audience or to help yourself prepare for the presentation.
To print PowerPoint notes with slide thumbnails:
- Go to the File tab and click Print.
- Under Settings, change the default Full Page Slides to Notes Pages.*
- Click Print.
*If you would like to change the page orientation (either of slides, or notes, or both), go to Page Setup to view more options.
To print PowerPoint notes without slide thumbnails:
- In your presentation, go to the Notes Page view (in the View menu click Notes Page).
- Delete the slide thumbnails from each of the notes pages individually.
- Go to the File tab and click Print.
- Under Settings, choose Notes Pages.
- Click Print.
Note that you can only print one page of speaker notes per printed page, even when you chose to print them without thumbnails.
More Presenting Options
Present on Multiple Monitors
View PowerPoint speaker notes privately when presenting with two monitors. A green alternative to printing your notes is using Presenter View. Have your presentation with speaker notes on your laptop, while your audience sees the slide-only presentation on a different monitor.
Make Use of Your Smartphone
You can use PowerPoint on your smartphone as a remote control to run your presentation and view speaker notes.
In order to enable that mode, open your presentation in Presenter View on your smartphone. Move through the slides with a touch and use a laser pointer to bring the audience’s attention to the most important parts of your presentation.
Here’s to a Perfect Presentation
You’ve got your presentation ready, speaker notes to support you — all you need to do to make sure everything goes smoothly is to rehearse your presentation and see how long your speech will be. Avoid the common PowerPoint mistakes and your presentation is bound to impress your audience.
Have you ever felt like you were missing speaker notes during an important presentation? Do you find PowerPoint speaker notes useful, or do they distract you from interacting with the audience instead?