PowerPoint and Keynote both have this function, so don’t panic. To skip around your slide-deck, you just have to type in the number of the slide you wan to skip to, and hit return. Couldn’t be more simple, so long as you can get to your keyboard. As you might have guessed, there’s more to it than that, if you want to look slick… (Password: Jump)
So what’s the catch?
The catch is that you have to know your slide deck reasonably well in order to be able to do this. Obviously the process of creating your slide deck will go a long way to getting this fixed in your head but it’s not necessarily enough. There are a number of ways of looking to get this sorted!
It’s a good plan to use mindmaps in brainstorming (or even designing) your presentation. When you’ve got that, it’s a simple matter of putting slide numbers on a printout of your mindmap of the first slide which addresses the issue.
The image here was created by a piece of software called Xmind, printed, and the numbers written on my hand – it’s a real document, not something created for this training. I’m not pretending it’s perfect, or even good, but it does at least illustrate this idea being used in real life. When we spoke, we simply had a version of this mindmap on the podium and when we needed to jump around slides we knew where to go simply by glancing down at a sheet of A4.
Of course, it’s possible to get much more sophisticated, but simple is often best.
Having hardcopy of your printouts in case you can’t use a projector is often a good backup plan. If your presentation is important enough it’s worth considering. But even if you don’t have a copy for everyone it can be very handy indeed to have a copy for yourself. If you use the print-out options to put multiple slides onto one sheet of paper things will stay practical. When you’ve got the paper copy, just put the slide numbers on by hand – in big figures, so you can read them at a glance.
As you’ve probably seen on the video above, you can pull up the slides you’ve got in your slide deck (in both PowerPoint and Keynote, the two big names in slide software) and simply look down at your laptop as you present. It’s not as handy as it sounds because you’ve
- got to be at your laptop
- need to look at it and type for a moment or two