Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 customer preview has gained a convenience feature already found in Apple’s Keynote: presenter mode. I was able to present a PowerPoint 2013 slide deck that projected the slide for the audience while on my Samsung XE700T tablet I was able to see the next slide, presentation notes, a timer and other presentation controls.
Aside from any other improvements that Microsoft is making to the industry standard presentation application, presenter mode is by far the most important. Presenter mode should lessen anxiety in speakers by giving them the “teacher’s edition” version of their presentation on the small screen while ensuring that the audience only sees the slide material.
Veteran PowerPoint users will also benefit from presenter mode and the newly improved interface that makes it easy to jump to a slide in the deck without having to page-up/page-down through the presentation. A bevy of other presentation controls will also help keep the discussion on track, including a timer and a “laser pointer” that doubles as a drawing tool.
Like Keynote, PowerPoint 2013 can record a voice track and advance slides in cadence so that a presentation can be given without the presenter, although this sounds like about the worst way to convey anything that matters beyond attendees having to check off that they did indeed sit through the material.