Adding Monitors for Presenter PowerPoint

Using multiple monitors for PowerPoint presentations can greatly enhance the presentation experience for both the presenter and the audience. Here are some key benefits of a multi-monitor setup:

Benefits for the Presenter

  • Presenter View – With a dual monitor setup, you can enable Presenter View in PowerPoint. This allows you to view your speaker notes and upcoming slides on one screen, while your audience only sees the current slide on the presentation screen.
  • Improved Focus – Having your notes and controls on a separate monitor prevents you from having to look back and forth from your laptop screen to the audience. This allows you to maintain eye contact and engage better with your listeners.
  • Stage Display – A comfort monitor at the foot of the stage lets you glance at your slides without turning your back on the audience or holding notes in your hands.

Benefits for the Audience

  • Larger Display – You can extend your presentation across two monitors or projectors to create an immersive, large-format display for your slides.
  • Multi-Screen Layouts – Custom multi-screen layouts allow you to show a slide on one monitor while complementary graphics, videos or demos display on the other screens.
  • Clean Stage – By using a comfort monitor, you eliminate the visual clutter of notes, laptops and remotes on the stage. This gives your audience a cleaner view of just you and your slides.

Setting Up Multiple Monitors

Follow these steps to configure a multi-monitor presentation setup:

1. Connect the Monitors

If your computer has multiple video output ports, connect the additional monitors directly. For laptops with only one video output, use a USB video adapter to add a second display.

2. Arrange the Displays

In Windows Display Settings, arrange your monitors in their physical layout – whether side-by-side, stacked horizontally, or with the projector display positioned as extended desktop.

3. Adjust Resolution

Set the resolution and orientation for each display according to its native specs. For projectors, use the native resolution even if it means black side bars on a widescreen display.

4. Enable Presenter View

In PowerPoint, go to Slide Show > Monitors and check the box for Use Presenter View. Select the display to show your private presenter display.

5. Set Up Slide Show

Go to Slide Show > Set Up Slide Show. Deselect “Use Presenter View” and select the monitor configuration you want.

Presentation Tips

Here are some tips for delivering great presentations with multi-monitor PowerPoint setups:

  • Rehearse your presentation with the configured monitors to get comfortable with the setup.
  • Use a presentation remote or wireless keyboard/mouse to control your slides from any location.
  • Take advantage of Presenter View tools like the digital laser pointer, highlighter, magnifier and Black Screen.
  • Customize your presenter notes with slide timings, talking points and reminders to keep your presentation smooth.
  • Design your slides in widescreen to maximize real estate across multiple displays.

Recommended Hardware

To enable powerful, flexible multi-screen presentations, consider using these hardware options:

  • Matrox DualHead2Go – Connects a laptop to 2 external monitors
  • StarTech USB 3.0 to Dual HDMI Adapter – Adds 2 HDMI displays to a USB 3.0 computer
  • Logitech Spotlight Presentation Remote – Lets you control slides from anywhere in the room
  • BenQ Portable LED Projector – Projects 1080p HD images up to 300 inches

With the right gear and setup, adding monitors can make your PowerPoint presentations more engaging, controlled and professional. The ability to customize display layouts also enables new possibilities for multi-screen effects.