Power Tip: Maximize Speaker Notes

About this lesson

I Need Help When Presenting!

Add your speaker notes to keep you on track when on stage presenting your PowerPoint in slide show mode.

What are Speaker Notes?

For each slide, you can add either a full script or bullet point reminders that only you can see when presenting the slide show.  Use this feature to stay on point and never miss a key talking concept.

What Will I Learn?

How and where to enter your talking points plus what formatting choices you have that will transfer over to the Presentation Mode.


00:00 Intro
00:42 Course Topics
01:21 Hands-On Tutorial
01:30 Speaker Notes Location
01:46 Three Locations for Adding
01:52 #1 Outline View
02:31 #2 Normal View
03:19 #3 Notes Page
03:55 Presenter View is Read Only
04:23 Change Font Display Size
05:22 How to Change Font Format
06:05 Only add Bold, Italic, Underline
06:30 Summary
07:02 Why Background Color Can’t Change
07:29 Wrap-Up


Subject Microsoft PowerPoint

Software Compatibility All Versions of PowerPoint starting with Office 2013

Level Tips

Course Completed Complete

PDF Files There are not any files associated with this lesson.



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Training Approximate Transcript


Welcome to All About Speaker Notes in PowerPoint.


This under five-minute tutorial will cover all aspects of using the notes tool for Slide Show presentations and is good for all versions of PowerPoint starting with Office 2013 up to Office 365

Hi, I’m Les McCarter from Power Up Training, where my decades of PowerPoint experience can become your expertise for free.  Do subscribe to our YouTube channel to support me in creating a full library of PowerPoint Tutorials.

If you want to jump ahead, do employ YouTube’s chapter settings below, just hover you mouse, to jump to these topics, or stay tuned for full tutorial to learn about:

  • The three ways to enter speaker notes into PowerPoint
  • How to Change the presentation mode font size
  • What you can and cannot change in formatting the speaker notes, including the background (with a spoiler alert, you can’t but there is a reason why)

So, let’s go and Power UP on all about the speaker notes.



Here we are in NORMAL view for a simple three slide presentation.


Let’s move into the slide show and start it from the beginning.


You can see that the speaker note section is empty, and it will NOT let me type any notes into it.  As for speaker notes, it appears to be READ-ONLY.


I’m going to END SLIDE SHOW, and we will work on just our second slide.


I am about to show you the three different view modes where you can put in speaker notes.


Starting with OUTLINE view.


Right there on the bottom of the screen is the section to add in the SPEAKER NOTES, although it is just called “click to add notes.”


Let me type in some text.


Before I leave this view, let’s take note of the standard font settings:  1) default color, font is Calibri, and font size is 12 point.


I will return back to these settings to see what we can and cannot change.


Ok, let’s look at the second of three views where we can edit the speaker notes: NORMAL  VIEW.


The notes are shown at the same bottom of the screen location, but it may or may not be visible as you can hide and show the note by click the NOTES icon.


You can also SIZE the workspace by grabbing the separator line once the double arrows show up.


With those arrows, just CLICK and DRAG to get more or less workspace.  Noting that the more notes workspace given, the less canvas workspace is available, or more precisely, the canvas area is scaled down.


I am going to add a second line of text.


Now for the third view of editing notes, it is right in the view called NOTES PAGE.


Here is there is a much bigger workspace. Where I will add a third line of text (remember you can always cut and paste from another programs, such as Microsoft Word.)


Now we can go into presenter mode  (I have a customized Quick Access Toolbar icon that I added to launch the presentation from the current slide).


And there are my three lines of text.


I can try clicking and typing in more, but I do fail.


I can also try to format the text by highlighting and right mouse clicking,  But I will fail again.


Do not be distracted by the pop-up menu with a right mouse button click.  It is the exact same menu no matter where I click on tie presenter view screen.




The only thing I can do is make the fonts bigger or smaller to read by either clicking the A icons or use my mouse scroll button with the CTRL key to zoom up or down.  But only to a limit, I can only make it SO big, but quite honestly, the max is too BIG, even for my marginal vision.


Let’s go back to our workspace, and we see that the word fonts DID NOT CHANGE in the NOTES PAGE  VIEW, but if I switch us to the NORMAL VIEW, the FONT is huge, just like they were in the presenter view.


However, if I double click a word and hover over it, the font size, color, and type have NOT changed.


So it was the PRESENTER VIEW visual ZOOM size that came over to the NORMAL VIEW.  There was no change to the font.


In fact, if I try to change the font in the NORMAL view, to say a new color and a larger font size on the word “THESE”


Nothing seems to change.


And this holds true in the OUTLINE view (although I need to scroll up to the top lines to see that it has not changed).


But if I go to the NOTES PAGE view, I do see the bigger font and the color red.


Unfortunately, when I return to the PRESENTER VIEW, the font formatting did NOT change.


The only control I have here, is how big or small it is displayed in presenter view; not formatting changes are possible here.


All is not completely lost.  Back in the NOTE PAGE view, Let me add one more set of formatting changes to  the words NORMAL VIEW  with BOLD and UNDERLINED.


And when I return to PRESENTER VIEW, we do see BOLD and UNDERLINED.



There you go on learning everything you need to know about the Speaker Notes in PowerPoint.

Want more, then do subscribe to Power UP Training’s youtube channel, where we can make you an expert of PowerPoint.

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Also, if you want to explore all of our free PowerPoint training, visit us at our website of POWER-UP. TRAINING.

Now go set up your speaker notes and Power UP!