Want a snazzy slideshow or show-reel you can play at a seminar or sales event while the audience files into the room or breaks for lunch? Here's a quick tip using PowerPoint 2013.
In PowerPoint 2013, you can now add audio that will play continuously across all the slides in your presentation, which is useful for a gathering or interval presentation.
- A gathering presentation is one that you keep onscreen while your audience is arriving, maybe giving brief details about the main presentation, or perhaps your firm’s show reel of related topics, or just a set of teaser images to whet the audience’s appetite.
- An interval presentation is one you’d show during a break as people come and go from the buffet, which may recap what’s been said so far, hint at what’s to come in the next section, or might be another corporate show reel.
How to setup one of these presentations with audio
Setting up one of these automated presentation types is easy. First set all your slides to automatically advance to the next after a set period: on the Transitions tab, set the Timing to Advance Slide After and set the duration to a value such as ten seconds (00:10.00) and click Apply To All. (Don’t include any “on-click” animations in your slides or they won’t happen. Everything must be automatic.)
Next, click Slide Show | Setup Slide Show and set the slide show to loop continuously until Esc is pressed.
Now insert your audio on the first slide and in Audio Tools | Playback | Audio Styles, click Play in Background. The default settings will cause the audio to restart from the beginning every time the first slide in the presentation is shown, but if your slideshow isn’t the same length as the audio, you might need to change this so the audio is started manually with a click event – that way, the audio and the slides will loop independently of each other.
Remember that you should make sure you have the appropriate rights to any audio content you’re going to play in a public or commercial setting, and you’ll also want to check that your audio sounds alright on the equipment you’re going to be using for the presentation.
Most laptop speakers probably won’t sound too great in a large room in front of tens of people, and there may be better speakers in the projector or conference room you’re using, so make sure you have the right cables to connect to them, and that you know how to switch your sound output from internal to external speakers if necessary.
Preparation is key here, as flailing about cluelessly in front of an expectant audience isn’t a nice experience.
Microsoft also has this how-to video from their PowerPoint blog: