R’n’B — presenter’s friends

Some time ago, in the executive conference room of a small company in Düsseldorf, we showed the final version of a marketing presentation that we developed for that client. It was a small audience, four decision makers, the president of the company among them, and they loved it. They loved the structure, they loved the slides, and they loved their company image. But beyond all that, they were impressed that we did not look back on the screen once, and still had all the slides and animations come in at the right time. After working for weeks on a presentation it would be surprising not to be familiar with every slide and every animation. After all, that is the main reason why a presenter should create her own visuals, or at least spend enough time with them. But a presenter can’t be expected to fly completely without instruments, and we certainly didn’t.


Advanced presentation software provides a feature called Presenter View (PowerPoint), or Presenter Monitor (Keynote), that allows us to show our slides via the projector, and at the same time to have our own computer screen display additional information such as the current slide, thumbnail images of the next slides, a timer, our notes, etc. That gives us security and spares us that reassuring look back from time to time.

Remote control

To enhance our performance even more we should not stay with the computer all the time, we should move around freely. We can use a presentation remote to navigate through our slides. That requires some practice, but it is worth the effort. When using a presentation remote, we don’t have to be concerned with having to be close to the computer only to switch to the next slide.


There are situations though, when we need the undivided attention of our audience. That is the moment to go back to our computer and use the “B” key of our keyboard. Pressing this key lets the screen go black, allowing us to talk to our listeners with them staying focused on us rather than on our slides. Pressing the “W” key lets the screen go white. Running animations can be stopped by pressing the “F” key (freeze).

R’n’B — presentation remote and the “B” key — can be our best friends. In combination with Presenter View / Presenter Monitor they provide the means for a great presentation. We should use them whenever we can.

Axel Wendelberger