Speaker notes in PowerPoint can be a valuable tool for enhancing your presentation skills and ensuring a smooth delivery of your message. Speaker notes provide a way to include additional information, reminders, or cues that can help you stay on track and deliver a confident presentation.

Whether you’re a seasoned presenter or a novice, utilising speaker notes can greatly improve your presentation delivery.

In this article, we’ll explore how to effectively use speaker notes in PowerPoint.

How to Add Notes in PowerPoint

Maintain your focus during your slideshow by incorporating speaker notes into each slide of your PowerPoint presentation. There’s no need to transcribe every word of your speech; simply include sufficient details to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted delivery.

  1. Go to View and select Normal.
  1. Choose the slide you wish to attach a note to by selecting its thumbnail in the Slide pane.
  2. Click the Notes button at the bottom of the window.

TIP: If the Notes pane is not visible, you can access it by going to the View tab and selecting Notes. On a Mac, you can reveal the notes section by dragging the bar located below the slide upward.

  1. A small box labeled Tap to Add Notes will be displayed below the slide. Mac users will see the text Click to Add Notes instead.
  1. Now, simply type the speaker notes for that slide. Repeat this process for each slide you’d like to add notes to.
  2. Don’t forget to save the changes you made to your presentation.

How to View Speaker Notes During a Presentation in Windows

If you are using PowerPoint 2016, 2013, or 2010 and your computer is connected to an external monitor or projector, you have the option to enable Presenter View. Presenter View allows you to see your speaker notes, slide thumbnails, and additional presentation tools while your audience sees only the slideshow on the external screen.

  1. Go to the Slide Show tab and select Use Presenter View.
  2. Select the monitor of your choice to view the speaker notes. Select Primary Monitor to designate your screen as the primary display for your speaker notes.
  1. If any of the following options are available in your PowerPoint version, you can choose them to view your slideshow notes during the presentation:
  • From Current Slide: Selecting this option will start the presentation from the currently selected slide, allowing you to see your slideshow notes as you progress through the slides.
  • Custom Slide Show: If you have created a custom slide show with specific slides or a different slide order, selecting this option will present your slideshow according to the customized settings, while also displaying your notes.
  • Present Online: This option allows you to deliver your presentation online, sharing it with remote viewers. When using the Present Online feature, your notes will be visible to you while presenting.
  • Broadcast Slide Show: If you want to broadcast your slide show to a remote audience, you can use the Broadcast Slide Show feature. Your speaker notes will be accessible to you during the broadcast.

Unfortunately, PowerPoint Online does not support Presenter View as it does not have the capability to connect to an additional monitor or display. Therefore, when using PowerPoint Online, you won’t be able to open a presentation in Presenter View to view your speaker notes or utilize other Presenter View features.

PowerPoint Online is a simplified version of PowerPoint that runs in a web browser, offering basic presentation functionalities. While you can still create and edit presentations online, certain advanced features, such as Presenter View, are not available in this version.

If you require the full functionality of Presenter View, including the ability to view speaker notes, slide thumbnails, and other tools, you will need to use the desktop version of PowerPoint for Windows or Mac. These versions provide more extensive features and options for presenting your slides.

How to View Speaker Notes During a Presentation in Mac

PowerPoint for Mac operates slightly differently compared to the Windows version. To view your notes during a presentation on PowerPoint for Mac, follow the steps presented below.

  1. Click on the Slide Show tab and choose the Presenter View option. This will enable Presenter View and display your speaker notes.
  2. Once Presenter View is activated, you will see a split-screen layout. The primary screen will show the slideshow that your audience sees, while the secondary screen (your Mac screen) will display Presenter View.
  • Speaker notes: You will be able to view your speaker notes on the secondary screen.
  • Slide thumbnails and additional tools: Presenter View often includes slide thumbnails, navigation controls, annotation tools, and a timer to assist you during the presentation.
  1. Use the on-screen controls or keyboard shortcuts to move through the slides while referencing your speaker notes in Presenter View.


By utilising Speaker Notes and Presenter View in PowerPoint, presenters can enhance their presentations by having important references at hand and managing the timing effectively.

If you need help putting together a presentation, whether a seminar deck or pitch deck design, don’t hesitate to get in touch.