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How to add speaker notes in a PowerPoint presentation

Take your PowerPoint game to the next level.
By
January 19, 2023

It is certainly possible to give a presentation without PowerPoint. And you can also just play a PowerPoint presentation without commenting or expanding on the slides at all. But it is far more effective and memorable to do both. Even a presentation with a recorded voice-over is not as impactful as one with a presenter.

Adding presenter notes directly to the PowerPoint file means never losing them or getting them mixed up. This makes life easier, especially if you have been asked to take over from the scheduled presenter. So let’s explore how to add speaker notes in a PowerPoint presentation, and how to view them while presenting. This will take your PowerPoint game to the next level.

Read more: How to turn a PowerPoint into a video

QUICK ANSWER

To add notes to a PowerPoint presentation, open or start a presentation and click on the Notes button at the bottom right. The window will appear right below the slide itself. Add your notes and save your presentation. To view your notes as you present, you will need to have your slides playing on a separate screen, and you need to be using Presenter View.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to add notes in a PowerPoint presentation

First, open a PowerPoint presentation or create a new one. Click on the first slide for which you want to write some speaker notes. The Notes box should be directly below the slide. If it isn’t, click on the Notes button in the lower right.

Powerpoint Speaker Notes Click on Notes Button
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

The Notes box is now visible. Click inside it and add your notes.

Notes Window Visible
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

When you are done writing your speaker notes for all the slides you want to add them to, just press Ctrl + S to save the presentation as you usually do. The speaker notes will be saved along with all the other changes you made.

Powerpoint Speaker Notes Slide Notes Completed
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

How to view notes during a PowerPoint presentation

In order to view your speaker notes while the slide show plays, you will need to use Presenter View. To turn on Presenter View, look in the Monitors section of the Slide Show menu. Click on the Use Presenter View checkbox. Then choose which monitor will display the Presenter View.

Powerpoint Speaker Notes Activate Presenter View
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

The Presenter View window will have controls for advancing to the next slide or going back to the previous one; marking or pointing to your slide; zooming in on a slide; switching between viewing the current slide or all the slides; and other useful controls. On the right will be a window containing the notes for the current slide. You can delete or edit your notes at any time. At the top, you have controls for changing the display or ending the slide show. The vertical rule between the slide and the notes section can be slid left and right to adjust the relative sizes of the two windows.

Presenter View Controls
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

FAQs

No, there isn’t. You can add all the notes you want.

You have two options: You can write your notes directly on the slide (that is, make them part of the presentation). Or you can use the Always Use Subtitles command in the Slide Show menu. With PowerPoint subtitles, you use a microphone to read your notes out loud and PowerPoint transcribes them into subtitles in real time as you speak.

No, you have to use the desktop version of PowerPoint to see speaker notes while you present.

Yes, you can. PowerPoint can understand six spoken languages (English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Chinese), and translate that speech into subtitles in over 50 languages.