Create a self-running presentation

By using a self-running presentation, you can communicate your information without a presenter. For example, you can set up a presentation to run unattended in a booth or kiosk at a trade show or convention, or you can send a CD with a self-running presentation to a client.

You can make most controls unavailable, so that your audience cannot make changes to your self-running presentation. Self-running presentations restart after they are finished and when they have been idle on a manually advanced slide for longer than five minutes.

To package a self-running presentation to run on a CD, network, or computer, see Copy a presentation to a CD, network, or local disk drive.

self-running presentation

In this article

Considering the interactive options for a self-running presentation

Add navigation

Add narration

Rehearse and record slide timings

Set up a presentation to run at a kiosk

Considering the interactive options for a self-running presentation

When you design a self-running presentation, keep the environment in which the presentation will appear in mind — for example, whether the booth or kiosk will be in an unmonitored public place or whether supervision will be available. By keeping the environment in mind, you can better determine what elements to add to your presentation, how much control to give your audience, and what steps to take to prevent misuse.

Options that you might want to consider when designing a self-running presentation include the following:

  • Hyperlinks and Action buttons    You can use hyperlinks to help your audience move through your presentation or move to other programs. You can also use action buttons, which are built-in navigation buttons that can give your presentation the look and familiarity of a Web page, with buttons for Home, Help, Back, Next, and so on.

  • Voice narration    You can add recorded narration that plays with your presentation.

  • Automatic or manual timings    You can set up your presentation to run by itself by using automatic timings, or you can set up your presentation so that your audience can navigate through it at their own pace by clicking action buttons. If you set up your presentation to run at a kiosk, only objects with hyperlinks or action buttons can be clicked.

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Add navigation

If you want your audience to move through your self-running presentation freely, you can add hyperlinks or action buttons to provide navigation.

  • Hyperlinks    

    You can add hyperlinks that go to custom shows, specific slides within your presentation, different presentations, Microsoft Office Word documents, Microsoft Office Excel worksheets, locations on the Internet or an intranet, or e-mail addresses. You can create a hyperlink from any object, including text, shapes, tables, graphs, and pictures.

    To learn how to add a hyperlink, see Create or edit a hyperlink.

  • Action buttons    

    PowerPoint includes ready-made action buttons that you can add to your presentation and that you can define hyperlinks for. Action buttons contain shapes, such as right and left arrows. Use them when you want to include commonly understood symbols for going to next, previous, first, and last slides. PowerPoint also has action buttons for playing movies or sounds.

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Add narration

Adding narration can help deliver information more clearly in your self-running presentation.

To record a narration, desktop computers require a sound card, a microphone, and a microphone connector. Laptop computers require only a microphone and a microphone connector. You can record a narration before you run a presentation, or you can record it during the presentation and include audience comments. If you do not want narration throughout your entire presentation, you can record separate sounds or comments on selected slides or objects. For more information, see Add narration to a presentation.

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Rehearse and record slide timings

Note: Be prepared to begin timing your presentation immediately after you perform the first step in this procedure.

  1. On the Slide Show tab, in the Set Up group, click Rehearse Timings.

    The Rehearsal toolbar appears and the Slide Time box begins timing the presentation.

    rehearsal toolbar
    The Rehearsal toolbar

    1 Next (advance to next slide)

    2 Pause

    callout 3 Slide Time

    callout 4 Repeat

    5 Total presentation time

  2. While timing your presentation, do one or more of the following on the Rehearsal toolbar:

    • To move to the next slide, click Next.

    • To temporarily stop recording the time, click Pause.

    • To restart recording the time after pausing, click Pause.

    • To set an exact length of time for a slide to appear, type the length of time in the Slide Time box.

    • To restart recording the time for the current slide, click Repeat.

  3. After you set the time for the last slide, a message box displays the total time for the presentation and prompts you to do one of the following:

    • To keep the recorded slide timings, click Yes.

    • To discard the recorded slide timings, click No.

      Slide Sorter view appears and displays the time of each slide in your presentation.

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Set up a presentation to run at a kiosk

Setting up a presentation to run at a kiosk allows you to control whether a mouse click anywhere on the screen advances a slide. For example, if you want your presentation to be viewed at a specific pace, set automatic timings, and then set the presentation to run at a kiosk. To give users additional control, you can add navigation, such as hyperlinks or action buttons, to your slides.

  1. On the Slide Show tab, in the Set Up group, click Set Up Slide Show.

  2. Under Show type, click Browsed at a kiosk (full screen).

Important: If you set up a presentation to run at a kiosk, remember to also use automatic timings or navigation hyperlinks. Otherwise, your self-running presentation will not advance beyond the first slide.

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