Create Self-Running Presentations

If you need to convey an effective message that will stick in your audience’s minds when you’re not around, you need to consider a self-running PowerPoint presentation!  This will immediately grab your customers’ attention, say at a trade fair stand or on a display screen in your company foyer.

There are a few things to bear in mind when creating a self-running presentation, though.  Try not to overload it with content, endless bullet points, tables and diagrams. Pictures, graphics and clear statements are much more suitable for this format. There is incredible potential in this medium, done well. PowerPoint is a great way to create self-running presentations; below, we show you just how easy it is!

Where Self-Running Presentations Work Best

Presentations running on a continuous loop are particularly useful for presenting information or product demos in waiting rooms, at airports, in some shops, at exhibition stands or in company foyers.

Self-running presentations are also good for employee training and reaching remote clients.

The common thread is that you don’t need a presenter with such presentations.  This allows you to visualize the information you want to create images and strengthen your brand in the viewer’s mind. You can tailor your presentation towards individuals, or use them at private occasions like birthday parties or weddings. This modern feature allows you to reach new audiences and is simple to set up.

What’s the Advantage of a Self-Running PowerPoint Presentation?

A really well-crafted PowerPoint presentation successfully drives a story forward. It can create a suspenseful arc, triggering enthusiasm in the audience, or, just as effectively, provide a soothing, calming effect.

If you’re a dentist looking for something for your waiting room, you’ll probably be going for the latter. Always keep your intended audience in mind, and create your presentation to appeal to them. The idea is that a self-running presentation creates a connection between your company and the audience.

Your core message can be conveyed to viewers visually, in an endless loop. This means that you don’t have to do a thing while it’s running. You can start or stop it with a single keystroke.

So What Is a Self-Running Presentation?

Basically it means that you don’t have to be around to give the presentation.  You can let it run on a continuous loop, say on a screen in your foyer, or at a trade fair.  Obviously you need to take security precautions if you do; setting a password and locking the keyboard are the basics. 

Or you can get an individual to start it on their own, then either click through each slide when they’re done with it (useful for training purposes), or sit back and watch the presentation unfold.

How Do I Create a Self-Running Presentation?

Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Under the Slide Show tab, click on Set Up Slide Show.
  2. You’ll see three options under Show type :

– Presented by a speaker (full screen)

– Browsed by an individual (window)

– Browsed at a kiosk (full screen)


If you want to give viewers the option to scroll through the slides themselves (e.g. for employee training), choose the first option.  If you want your presentation to be in a window, with the viewer just sitting back and watching, choose the second.

Setting up Autoplay

If you want your presentation to run continuously, choose the third option; this automatically greys out Loop Continuously Until Esc. Confirm by clicking the OK button. You can set the timing and slide transitions in the next step.

Set Up Transitions for Your Self-Running Presentation

To allow your presentation to run smoothly, uncheck the On Mouse Click option under the Transitions tab.

Then click on the After button and set the duration.  You can either set the duration of each slide individually, or select Apply To All if you want your slides to change at regular intervals.


Adding Sound

If you want to record a narration, you’ll need a computer with an integrated sound card and microphone.  You could use an external mike if the option exists to connect one.


Under the Slide Show tab, click the Record Slide Show button. Select one of the options, depending on whether you want to start recording at the beginning of the presentation or create a recording for the current slide only. Then click Start Recording.

Click End Show and Save File once you’re done recording.  Your self-running presentation is now ready to send to clients, train your employees, or advertise your presence at the next trade show!

To Save Your Self-Running Presentation as a Video

First save your presentation as a PowerPoint file. Under the File, click Save. Then, still in the File tab, click Export.

Now click the Create Video button. On the right side of the screen you will now see a drop-down menus (Full HD 1080p, Ultra HD 4K, etc.). Select the video quality you want. Once you have made your selection, you have the option to Use Recorded Timings and Narrations.  You can uncheck this if you want; the default display duration is 5 seconds, but this is easily changed

Now all you have to do is click the Create Video button. Finally, choose your video’s file format. Once you’ve chosen, simply click Save again and your video is ready to go!

If you don’t know which video format to use, this guide may help:

  • Ultra HD (4K) has a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels and is the maximum file size (suitable for large monitors and screens).
  • Full HD (1080p) has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and – a large file size (suitable for computer and HD screens).
  • HD (720p) has a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels – a medium file size (suitable for Internet and DVD).
  • Standard (480p) has a resolution of 852 x 480 pixels and is the smallest file size (suitable for portable devices)