How to Print an Outline of the Presentation in PowerPoint

Being able to print an outline of your PowerPoint presentation can be extremely useful, both for you as the presenter and for your audience. Having an outline allows everyone to follow along with the key points and overall flow of the presentation.

In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps for printing an outline from PowerPoint, as well as provide some tips on how best to utilize presentation outlines.

Why Print an Outline

Here are some of the biggest reasons why you may want to print an outline of your PowerPoint presentation:

  • Keep yourself on track – As the presenter, having an outline allows you to see the major points and progression of your presentation at a glance. You can use it to guide your speaking and make sure you hit all the key messages.
  • Allow audience members to take notes – Audience members will appreciate having an outline they can scribble notes on rather than trying to keep up with slides full of text and graphics.
  • Focus attention on your speech – With less detailed slides and handouts for people to read, you keep eyes and ears tuned into your actual presentation.
  • Provide a takeaway – After your talk, audience members can refer back to your outline handout to refresh their memory of your key points.

Access the Outline View

The first step to printing an outline is accessing the Outline View within PowerPoint:

  • Open your presentation in Normal View
  • Click on the View tab
  • Select Outline View in the Presentation Views group

This will display a text-based, hierarchical view of your presentation’s contents and structure.

Customize the Outline

Once in Outline View, you can customize what is included in the printed outline:

  • Simplify outline – Delete secondary points so only main topics and key points are listed. This helps focus the handout.
  • Add presenter notes – You can add speaking notes that will print alongside the outline topics.
  • Rearrange order – Change the sequence of topics as needed by dragging and dropping them into place.

Print Options

When ready to print, go to File > Print to access printing options:

  • Under Settings, choose Outline for Print Layout
  • Select additional options like paper orientation, slides per page, etc.
  • Click Print

Tip: Save custom print settings for outlines under Printer Properties so it’s ready to go for next time.

Make the Most of Your Outline

Follow these tips for creating and using outlines effectively:

  • Focus outlines on key topics and limiting detail
  • Number topics and subtopics for easy reference
  • Print outlines alongside slide thumbnails when beneficial
  • Have some copies on hand at your presentation for attendees
  • Use bold fonts and/or colors for emphasis
  • Leave plenty of white space for note taking

Outline Uses Beyond Printing

The Outline View in PowerPoint has many helpful purposes beyond printing, including:

  • Navigating quickly through a long presentation
  • Getting a high-level overview of content flow and structure
  • Rearranging topics easily by dragging and dropping text
  • Creating presenter notes linked to outline topics
  • Collaborating with others on presentation development

So be sure to leverage Outline View even if you don’t end up printing handouts.

Key Takeaways

Printing an outline is a great way to enhance your next presentation. Keep these points in mind:

  • Outlines help speakers, attendees, and collaboration
  • Customize details to focus on key topics
  • Use Outline View for organization and planning
  • Set print defaults to save time later
  • Focus attention on the presentation, not just slides

With the right preparation, an outline can make your presentation shine!