How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation Play Automatically

Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 has several options for enabling your slide show to play automatically. Before using automatic play, rehearse and record the presentation so that the slides advance in a timely manner. PowerPoint can record your narration to be played during the slide show, or you can let the presentation speak for itself without narration.

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Getting Started

Click the Slide Show tab.
credit: Screenshot courtesy of Microsoft.

After you finish creating your PowerPoint presentation and have included all the slides, animations and effects needed for the presentation, click the Slide Show tab. Here you will find all the options to create an automated presentation. Select Automatic from the Monitors section of the ribbon and make sure the Use Timings option is checked. You can also enable or disable the Play Narrations and Show Media Controls options as desired for your presentation.

Recording a Presentation

Click Rehearse Timings.
credit: Screenshot courtesy of Microsoft.

Click the Rehearse Timings icon in the Slide Show ribbon if you don't need to record a narration. If you do want to record narration, click the Record Slide Show icon. Your presentation starts in slide show mode with a Slide Time box in the corner.

The small Slide Time box appears in the corner.
credit: Screenshot courtesy of Microsoft.

Wait as long you need to display the first slide. Make sure the duration is long enough for your audience to read the contents. If you're recording narration, speak into your computer's microphone.

  • Click the Arrow icon on the Slide Time box, click the slide, or press the Right Arrow key to advance to the next slide.
  • Click the Pause button in the Slide Time box to pause the recording.
  • Click Resume to continue a paused recording.
  • Press Esc to cancel the recording.

When you get to the end of the slide, PowerPoint stops recording and prompts you to save.

Click Yes to save the recording.
credit: Screenshot courtesy of Microsoft.

Read the time displayed in the dialog box to see how long the recording lasts. It's displayed in hours, minutes and seconds. To save the recording, click Yes. You can keep this copy or record it again.

Click From Beginning.
credit: Screenshot courtesy of Microsoft.

Play your recorded slide show by clicking the Slide Show tab and selecting the From Beginning icon. If you're satisfied with the beginning, you can select any slide and then click the From Current Slide icon to jump right in from that slide.

Automatic Show Types

PowerPoint 2013 has three Show Types that support automatic slide shows. To access them, click the Set Up Slide Show icon in the Slide Show ribbon. Each type allows you to customize the slide show as needed, including which slides are displayed, whether narration or animation is played or not, and continuous looping.

For each of these three types, make sure that Automatic is selected in the Multiple Monitors section and the Using Timings, if Present option is selected in the Advance Slides section. Both of these options should turned on by default after you've recorded any slide show.

Presented By a Speaker

Presented by a Speaker options.
credit: Screenshot courtesy of Microsoft.

Use the Presented By a Speaker (Full Screen) option if you intend to be the one presenting the slide show.

Browsed by an Individual

Browsed by an Individual options.
credit: Screenshot courtesy of Microsoft.

Select the Browsed by an Individual (Window) option if you plan to have the presentation viewed without being present for it. This is a good option if you are to someone or sharing it with OneDrive.

Browsed at a Kiosk

Browsed at a Kiosk options.
credit: Screenshot courtesy of Microsoft.

Select the Browsed at a Kiosk (Full Screen) option if you plan to leave the presentation unattended, such as in an office lobby or at a trade show. Note that the Loop Continuously Until 'Esc' radio button is pre-selected and can't be turned off.

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