PowerPoint 2003: Using the Set Rehearse Timing Feature

The Set Rehearse Timings feature in PowerPoint 2003 allows you to rehearse your presentation and have PowerPoint record the timings for each slide. This can be helpful if you want your presentation to run automatically with specific timing for each slide.

Benefits of Using Rehearse Timings

Using the Rehearse Timings feature has several benefits:

  • Consistency – Recording timings ensures each slide displays for the same duration every time the presentation is played back. This provides consistency.
  • Pacing – Rehearsing your presentation allows you to set an appropriate pace for each slide. You can speed up or slow down parts as needed.
  • Precision – With manual slide timings, you can precision time elements on each slide down to the half second. This allows for precise control.
  • Automated playback – Once slide timings are set, the presentation can playback automatically from beginning to end. You don’t need to manually advance each slide.

How to Set Rehearse Timings

Setting rehearse timings is easy to do:

  1. Open your PowerPoint presentation and select Slide Show > Rehearse Timings from the top menu.
  2. The rehearse dialogue box will appear. Select Next to begin.
  3. Rehearse your presentation from start to finish, advancing each slide manually by clicking with your mouse.
  4. As you rehearse, PowerPoint will record the timings for each slide transition.
  5. When you reach the end, select Close in the rehearse dialogue box.
  6. Save your presentation to save the recorded slide timings.

Tips for Effective Rehearsing

  • Display each slide for the duration you want it to appear during actual presentations. Don’t rush through slides too fast.
  • For slides with builds, mouse clicks, or other animations, rehearse those actions accordingly so the timings are right.
  • Speak aloud as you rehearse to simulate an actual presentation. This will help you rehearse at the proper pace.
  • If you make a mistake, select Previous to go back and repeat a slide. No need to start over from the beginning!

Using Recorded Timings in Your Presentation

Once you have rehearsed your presentation and saved the timings, using those timings is simple:

  • For manual playback – your presentation will now advance slides automatically based on the rehearsed timings as you present. You can still manually override advance if needed by clicking your mouse.
  • For automated playback – under Slide Show > Set Up Show select the Use Rehearsed Timings checkbox. Now when you start the slideshow it will playback automatically based on the timings you rehearsed.

Adjusting Timings

If after rehearsing you want to adjust a slide timing:

  1. Select the slide you wish to adjust in normal edit mode.
  2. Under Slide Show > Slide Transition, the transition time for that slide appears.
  3. Adjust the time up or down as desired for that slide.
  4. Repeat for any other slides you wish to adjust timings for.

Best Practices When Rehearsing Timings

To ensure an effective rehearsal and end timing result, keep these tips in mind:

  • Rehearse several times until your timings are polished. Don’t settle on your first run-through.
  • Time your presentation overall to fit within your allotted speaking time, usually 40 or 50 minutes.
  • Build in time cushions and pauses between sections for smooth flow and transitions.
  • For long presentations of over one hour, rehearsing in multiple sittings may be less taxing and yield better timings.
  • Speak clearly and loudly during rehearsal as you would during the actual presentation. This affects timing.