3-in-1 Presentation Quick Tip

In this quick tip, you’ll learn how to make your presentation include the following in one PowerPoint file:

  • On screen presenter support slides
  • Talking points for the speaker to see while on stage
  • Printed handout

On screen slides

This one is pretty self-explanatory. However, one thing to note is that, if a presentation does have a leave-behind, this file structure will allow for much cleaner slides for those presenters who are afraid to do so.

Speaker Notes and the Notes Page

This is where it starts to get tricky. Anything that you put in your speaker notes under the slide automatically populates on the notes page. However, if you delete what shows up on the notes page, thinking you’re just clearing it to make room for handout information, you lose all of your speaker notes.

Conversely, if you add your handout information to the body text box on the notes page, that will show up in plain text format in your speaker notes.

To solve for this, we will move some things around on the Notes Master. Instead of deleting the body text box, put it on the pasteboard. Make sure you add a short brightly colored warning to neither move nor delete that box. Then, exit out of the Notes Master.

At that point, you can customize your leave-behind information on the notes pages. Is it completely fool-proof? No, but with a little training, you can have a very elegant looking 3 in 1 deck.

Final Notes Page


  1. A couple of additional nice things about this solution:
    1. The speaker notes can still be entered the usual way below the slides, so no change for those who usually enter their speaking notes that way.
    2. The speaker notes still show up properly in Presenter View so you still have your notes when you are speaking.

    Thanks for sharing this approach!

  2. This seems like a really useful tip, so thanks for sharing. I love that it lets you have speaker notes that differ from your handout content.

    (I must say though, I found the video hard to follow because there wasn’t any explanation of what was happening. Plus, it seemed to use some keyboard shortcuts, and the original notes box never moved to the side. So I replayed it several times and even slowed it down, thinking I’d missed something. Just a thought for next time!)

    Anyway, on the topic of multi-use PPT files, you might like this post about moving slide text to the speaker notes, then using those to make a PDF handout. (Ellen Finkelstein added her own perspective in a comment.)

  3. If exporting to PDF, the top part renders poorly; it becomes a compressed JPEG.
    If anyone knows a change of image export settings in the Notes section, please share.

    1. I had to get around this by going into slide sorter view, select the slide thumbnail, CTRL+C. THEN, go into the notes page for that slide, delete the auto-generated slide, and CTRL+V. The resulting image is pretty clean in a PDF. I don’t know any other work-around for it.

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