HomeWinBuzzer TipsHow to Add Speaker Notes in PowerPoint

How to Add Speaker Notes in PowerPoint

We show you how to add speaker notes in PowerPoint, how to format them and how to use and print them.


PowerPoint presentations are more than just slides; they're a storytelling tool. As a presenter, you're tasked with conveying a message, and while visuals play a crucial role, it's the spoken words that often carry the weight of your message. But how do you ensure you cover all your points without overwhelming your slides with text? Enter Speaker Notes—a feature in PowerPoint designed to aid presenters by providing a space for key points, anecdotes, and additional information that doesn't appear on the slides but is essential for the presenter.

What Are Speaker Notes in PowerPoint?

Speaker notes serve as a discreet guide for presenters, ensuring they stay on track and don't miss any crucial details. They act as reminders of what should be said during the presentation, allowing for a smoother delivery. Whether it's a key message, a statistic, or a brief anecdote, these notes are there to support you, the storyteller, while ensuring your slides remain uncluttered and visually appealing.

Beyond just aiding in recall, speaker notes offer a range of benefits. They allow for the removal of non-essential text from slides, ensuring audiences aren't overwhelmed and can focus on the presenter. Moreover, well-structured speaker notes can transform a presentation file into a standalone document, making it shareable and understandable even without the oral component. This dual-purpose nature of speaker notes makes them invaluable for presenters who wish to extend the reach of their message beyond the presentation room.

In this tutorial, we'll explore the various facets of speaker notes in PowerPoint. From adding them in different views to formatting and printing them as handouts, we've got you covered.

How to Add Speaker Notes in Powerpoint “Normal View”

In this section, we'll explore how to add speaker notes directly in the “Normal View” of PowerPoint. Speaker notes can be a helpful tool for presenters, allowing them to add reminders or additional information beneath each slide. The “Normal View” provides a convenient way to quickly jot down these notes while creating or editing your slides.

  1. Open “View” in the Ribbon and select “Notes”
    Windows 11 - Powerpoint - View - Notes - Add
  2. Add your PowerPoint Speaker Notes in the Notes-Pane
    The “Speaker Notes”-Paneof PowerPoint let´s you enter and format notes for each slide in a field right below the slide-preview.
    Windows 11 - Powerpoint - View - Notes - Add - Edit
  3. You can show and hide the “Speaker-Notes-Pane holding and dragging up the “Notes”-Button at the bottom
    Windows 11 - Powerpoint - Click Notes Notes Cmd
  4. The hotkey “Ctrl+Shift+H” on your keyboard also open the Notes Pane
    Windows 11 - Powerpoint - Ctrl+Shift+H

How to Add Speaker Notes in PowerPoint using the “Notes Page”

The “Notes Page” in PowerPoint offers a more focused environment for adding and editing speaker notes. In this tutorial, we'll delve into how you can utilize the “Notes View” to add detailed notes for each slide, ensuring you're well-prepared for your presentation.

  1. Click “View” in the Ribbon and “Notes Page”
    The “Notes Page” is a separate view that shows each slide on its own page alongside its associated speaker notes. This view is more for reviewing and editing the speaker notes in a format that's closer to how they might appear when printed. It provides a more detailed and expansive view of the notes, making it easier to read and edit longer notes.
    Windows 11 - Powerpoint - View - Note Page - Add Note
  2. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the “Note Page” and the “Notes Pane”
    Windows 11 - Powerpoint - Format Note
  3. Click “Home” in the Ribbon to show formatting tools to adjust your PowerPoint Speaker Notes
    Windows 11 - Powerpoint - View - Note Page - Add Note - Home - Edit Format

How to Remove All PowerPoint Speaker Notes at Once

There might be instances where you'd want to share your presentation without the speaker notes or simply start afresh with your notes. In this segment, we'll demonstrate how to quickly remove all speaker notes from your PowerPoint presentation in one go, saving you the hassle of deleting them slide by slide.

  1. Click “File”
    Windows 11 - Powerpoint - File
  2. Click “Info”, then “Check for Issues” and select “Inspect Document”
    Windows 11 - Powerpoint - File - Info Check for Issues - Inspect Document
  3. Select “Presentation Notes” and click “Inspect”
    Windows 11 - Powerpoint - File - Info Check for Issues - Inspect Document - Presentations Notes - Inspect
  4. In the results, click “Remove All” for “Presentation Notes”
    The “Remove All” button will only show if “Presentation notes were found”.
    Windows 11 - Powerpoint - File - Info Check for Issues - Inspect Document - Presentations Notes - Inspect - Remove All - Close


How to show PowerPoint Speaker Notes in “Presenter View”

The “Presenter View” is a powerful feature in PowerPoint that allows presenters to see their notes on one screen while the audience views the slide show on another. This section will walk you through the steps to access and utilize the “Presenter View,” ensuring you have all the information you need at your fingertips during your presentation.

  1. Select “Slide Show” in the Ribbon and there “Use Presenter View”
    When this option is enabled, it provides a private view for the presenter on one screen, while the audience sees only the slide show on another screen. For “Presenter View” to work effectively, you need a dual display setup, such as a laptop connected to a projector or an external monitor. The audience sees the full-screen slide show on the projector or external display, while the presenter sees the “Presenter View” with PowerPoint Speaker Notes on their laptop or primary display.
    Windows 11 Powerpoint - Slide Show - Use Presentation View

How to print PowerPoint Notes as Handouts

If you're conducting a workshop or seminar, providing handouts with your slides and notes can be invaluable for attendees. This tutorial will guide you on how to print your PowerPoint slides along with the speaker notes, ensuring your audience has all the necessary information in hand.

  1. Click “File” in the Ribbon
    Windows 11 - Powerpoint - File
  2. Select “Print”, then “Notes Page” and choose “Note Pages” as the print layout
    The other options serve for different purposes:

    Full Page Slides: This layout prints one slide per page, filling the entire page. It does not include speaker notes. It's ideal if you want a large, clear view of each slide without any accompanying notes.

    Notes Pages: This layout prints one slide and its associated speaker notes on a single page. The slide is positioned at the top, and the speaker notes appear below it. This layout is useful if you want to provide attendees with a copy of the presentation that includes detailed notes, or if you want a printed version of your notes for reference during your presentation.

    Outline: This layout prints only the text content of your slides in an outline format, without any graphics or images. Speaker notes are not included in this layout. It provides a concise overview of the presentation's content.

    Handouts (with multiple slides per page): While not directly a “Notes Page” layout, the handouts option allows you to print multiple slides on a single page. You can choose to print 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, or 9 slides per page. Speaker notes are not included in these layouts. These handouts are great for giving the audience a compact overview of the presentation.
    Windows 11 Powerpoint - File - Print - Note Pages

  3. Click “Print”
    Windows 11 Powerpoint - File - Print - Note Pages - Print

Extra: How to Embed Fonts in PowerPoint  Presentations

If you're planning to send your presentation to another person, you may want to consider learning to embed fonts in PowerPoint. When you send a PowerPoint without a font embed, the receiver must have the fonts you used installed on their PC for it to display correctly. While common fonts like Arial are usually fine, fonts that you have downloaded from the internet or that are specific to your operating system may not be. In our other guide, we show you how to embed fonts in your PowerPoint presentation so that you don't run into formatting changes between computers when sharing it.
Featured - How to embed fonts in PowerPoint

Extra: How to Insert an Animated GIF in PowerPoint

Knowing how to add a GIF to PowerPoint is a useful tool – allowing you to win your audience over with memes and references, insert a quick UI demonstration, and more. In our other guide, we show you exactly how to add a GIF to PowerPoint, and will cover several different scenarios.
Featured - How to Insert an Animated GIF into a PowerPoint Presentation

Extra: How to Embed a YouTube Video in PowerPoint

It can be difficult to keep an audience's attention during a lengthy presentation. In fact, 4 out of 5 professionals admit to shifting their focus away from the presenter during the last presentation they attended. One way to combat this is interactive elements. In our other guide, we show you how to embed a YouTube video in PowerPoint so that you can spice up your presentations and impress colleagues.
How to Embed a YouTube Video in PowerPoint

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.