The presentation is over, the Q&A begins. The team is browsing through their slides, they cannot find what they are looking for, they exit the presentation mode and start scrolling up and down on the slide list. At this point the jury and the audience gets really bored.
We have all experienced the above described phenomenon. This article provides three simple but very effective solutions to the problem.
This is the simplest method out of all, the disadvantage is that you need a 2013 PowerPoint to use it. The Slideselector function is accessible in the presentation view mode. The button in the attached figure shows the list of slides (with small icons) on the screen of the laptop while the audience sees nothing of this in the meantime. Once we found the needed slides, the screen of the beamer refreshes after a click.
2. ‘Jump to slide’ command
During a presentation it is enough just to type the number of a particular slide, press Enter and PowerPoint will jump to the given slide. In case of longer presentations it is recommended to print the deck or make a list of the numbers denoting the certain slides. Unfortunately PowerPoint takes animations as separate slides so you should make sure if the 4-2-Enter combination will give you the desired slide indeed.
3. Slide map/navigator
This method requires some extra work but it yields a really impressive result. The slide map buils on the slide linking function of PowerPoint. The idea: prepare a slide on which we put the hyperlinks of the most important slides. If we have time, we can structure these links (e.g. based on the structure of the presentation, what slides were in the main presentation and what were in the back-up). The slide navigator should be the slide which we show to the jury in between two questions – of course we need to figure out how to jump to that slide. If it is the last one in the deck, then we can always jump back to it by pressing the End button. A more elegant way is if we place a small picture (e.g. the logo of the team or company) on every slide that links it to the slide map.
Slide map from CBS Case Competition 2014. Source: the team of University of Melbourne, A. Howe, A. Marks, D. Pagonis, K. Pappas
Out of the three methods above, we should pick one and experience the way it works. For the conclusion we need to mention that a backup no matter how impressive it may be, by itself is insufficient. You need to know the answers without slides. Therefore it is important to start answering a question as soon as possible after it is posed, in certain situations even without the help of a slide.