How to Set Up a Powerpoint Presentation

By Techwalla Computers Editor

Most people who are new to giving PowerPoint presentations wonder how to set up their systems for glitch-free laptop lectures. The answer is that it only takes a few steps to attach a computer to an external-viewing system and for the presenter to be in complete control of the presentation.

Things You'll Need

  • Laptop
  • Projection screen or monitor

Set Up Your Laptop

Step 1

Connect the external monitor or projection screen to your laptop using the external-video port.

Step 2

Match your laptop-screen resolution to the projection-screen resolution if your images are fuzzy. This can be done through the "Settings" tab on your laptop. Standard pixelation is 800 by 600, so try that if you are having difficulties.

Use Dual-Monitor Support

Step 1

Engage the dual-monitor support function to show the audience one screen--the one on the projection screen or monitor--and view an entirely different screen on your laptop. Your screen can display your notes, have added text and provide other helpful features that you want to keep for your eyes only.

Step 2

Go to "Settings," "Control Panel" and "Display" on your laptop.

Step 3

Click on "Use this device as my primary monitor" under your "Settings" tab. This designates your laptop as your master device.

Step 4

Open the icon for the second monitor and click the box that says, "Extend my desktop onto this monitor." When you are finished, you can uncheck that box to disconnect the function.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always try to make a test run when you set up a PowerPoint presentation. The last thing you want is to show up in front of a large group of people and find that you have packed the wrong cables or forgotten to insert music into your show. A simple trial run can also serve to alleviate some of the nervousness of presenting, allowing you to appear confident in front of a group of peers.
  • Make sure your laptop desktop is presentable before making your presentation. Sometimes, it's necessary to connect your computer to a projection monitor before you run your PowerPoint presentation, and you don't want everyone to see a desktop cluttered with video games, personal pictures and other distracting items.
  • Avoid embarrassing delays by making sure your laptop battery is charged before your presentation. Also, be sure to have your power cord handy in case you need to plug your laptop in instead of having it run on battery power.