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Want to Broadcast a Presentation for Free Online? You Can! With PowerPoint of All Things!


By Kelly Vandever


Say you want to present to a colleague in another state. You’d like to share some information or explain a new process and a simple phone call isn’t going to suffice. You need some visual aids to go along with what you’re saying.

Did you know you can use PowerPoint to help yourself out? And it’s free!

Here’s how it works.

Prepare Your PowerPoint Slides

Prepare your presentation slides just like you normally would. You can even include animations, videos or audio files.


Optimize Your Media

If you do have media files, be sure to optimize your media first.

Go to File/Info/Optimize Media Compatibility. According to PowerPoint, this will maximize the chances that any audios or videos you play will come through on the viewer’s computer.



Find the Present Online Icon

Once you’ve prepared your presentation and you’re ready to share, go to either the Slide Show tab or the File/Share tab and select the option that says Present Online.


File/Share/Present Online



Slide Show Tab/Present Online


You’ll get the new window below which explains the details of presenting online and your options. Click “Connect” when you’re ready to fire up your presentation.



For larger files, it will take a while to prepare the presentation. Plan accordingly when trying to coordinate a time for the presentation with your colleague.

Each time you present online, you’re provided with a new link…which means you don’t have the luxury of sending out a link to the presentation well in advance. But if you and your presentation are ready, you can present on the fly…once the file has been processed after you’ve clicked the “Connect” button.


Share the Link to Connect to Your Online Presentation

After the file has been loaded and processed, you’ll get a link to the presentation shown in the box below. You can copy the link, or click the option to email the link to attendees.

Then click on Start Presentation and you will go immediately into slide show mode. Easy peasy!





Formatting Differences in Online Presentation Mode

A few anomalies happen when you’re presenting online. They are pretty small in nature, relative to the ability to present online!


Video Anomaly

The video in the screen shot below was cropped and resized before broadcasting the show. The video when it was inserted looked like the version depicted below on the slide as the picture with the black bands at the top and bottom. The resized and cropped version is peaking out from underneath that. When the video plays, it plays in the smaller screen. For purposes of showing this presentation online, I’d probably had been better off not modifying the video so it doesn’t look so confusing.



Video Pause and Mute Available to the Audience

At the other end, the person watching your presentation can actually pause or mute the audio and video which comes through. That could throw you off a bit if you were counting on your audience watching and listening to the material as part of your presentation.


Can’t Use Mark Up Tools 

The annotation tools available in the presenter view in PowerPoint won’t come through to the audience watching the online presentation. In other words, while you can still use the pen to circle an item that’s on your screen when in presentation mode, the audience online won’t be able to see your marks.


Work Around for Annotations

A work around for not being able to use the mark up tools would be to add animations with shapes like the arrows in the slides below to direct the viewer’s attention.








There’s No Audio of You Speaking During the Presentation

While audio files and the sound from video plays, your voice does not get broadcasted. The PowerPoint and its embedded files are transferred to the cloud. Your voice is not. You’ll need to connect with your colleagues by phone.


Transitions Don’t Work

Fancy transitions (which you probably shouldn’t be using any way) don’t work when you’re presenting online. The slides advance through a nice, gentle fade (which is my preference anyway ;0).


Coolness Associated with Presenting Online 

You Can Modify on the Fly

You can actually escape out of present mode to move to a slide out of sequence, make a quick edit or invite someone else to the online presentation. Your audience will see the last slide shown even while you are busy editing, emailing or navigating. When you’re done, click the button that says resume broadcasting, and your audience will see the slide you’re on.




You Can Share Meeting Notes through Microsoft OneNote

I understand that you can share notes for your meeting through Microsoft OneNote. They’ll actually be able to download it on their side. I don’t have OneNote installed so I couldn’t check it out. Please add comments below with your experiences sharing meeting notes through OneNote!


Animations Do Work

While transitions between slides don’t work, animations within a slide do show up as designed on the audience’s end.


It’s Free!

I always love free things!


Sharing Presentations Online Using PowerPoint

Sharing presentations online using PowerPoint won’t replace traditional online meeting and webinar sharing tools. But it is a handy feature in a pinch.

We’d love to hear your stories about sharing your presentations online using PowerPoint! Be sure to add your voice in the comments below!





Kelly Vandever is a leadership and communications expert who helps leaders and organizations thrive in today’s attention-deficit, entertain-me-now, wait-while-I-post-that-on-Facebook world.   Connect with Kelly and discover how opening up and speaking practically can bring you better business results. 

Contact Kelly by phone at 770-597-1108, email her or tweet her @KellyVandever.