Create A Self-Running Presentation in PowerPoint 2003

Create A Self-Running Presentation in PowerPoint 2003
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Creating A Self-Running Presentation

Probably the most common way to advance to the next slide in a PowerPoint presentation is to click the mouse or use the (down or right) arrow keys. However, sometimes it is useful to have the slides advance by themselves without operator intervention. Such is the case with a self-running presentation.

For example, suppose the first slide shows someone handling garbage and you want a voice to say, “You should wash your hands after handling garbage.” You then want the presentation to move automatically to the next slide where someone is handling money and the voice to say “You should wash your hands after handling money”, then move automatically to the third slide, and so on.

We assume that you have recorded the audio for each slide and stored each in its own file. For this example, we assume that you have created MP3 files Garbage.mp3 and Money.mp3 with the appropriate audio.

Go to the first slide.

From the menu bar at the top of the screen, click on Insert > Movies and Sounds > Sound from File…

(To see a larger view of any image, click on the image.)

and add the file, Garbage.mp3. If you need help with this, check out this article.

Right-click on the sound icon


and choose Custom Animation… (You can also choose it from the Slide Show menu.) This will bring up the following box on the right of your screen:


Click on the drop-down arrow in the box with the file name and choose Start After Previous if it is not already selected. This ensures that the recording will play when the slide appears as opposed to On click.

The next step is to determine how long you want the slide to stay up. In this example, the audio plays for about 3 seconds. You could probably add another 2 seconds for the audience to assimilate what was said and to take in the visuals, if any. In the end, only you can decide how much time is needed. Suppose you decide on 5 seconds.

Go to the Slide Show menu and choose Slide Transition… This brings up the following on the right of your screen (replacing Custom Animation…).


You can choose what kind of transition you like and its speed but, here, we are mainly interested in the Advance slide section.

On mouse click will probably be selected. Click in the box next to Automatically after and set the time to 5 seconds (use the up arrow or type 5). The following should be displayed:


Now when you run the presentation, the first slide will stay up for exactly 5 seconds after which it will advance automatically to the second slide.

Stop the presentation (right-click and choose End Show) and repeat the above steps with each of the other slides in the presentation.

Note that, for each slide, you can decide whether you want it to advance automatically after a specified time or On mouse click.

If you choose “advance automatically” for all slides, you will have created a self-running presentation.

Additional Resources: For more tips, be sure to take a look at the other items in Bright Hub’s collection of Microsoft PowerPoint tutorials and user guides. New and updated articles are being added on a regular basis, so bookmark us and check back often.

This post is part of the series: How To Add Audio To PowerPoint 2000/2003 Presentations

Ever wondered how to get your presentations to talk and sing? Welcome to a series of articles on how to add “audio” (music or speech) to your presentations. These articles are designed primarily for those who use PowerPoint 2000/2003 but the principles are all applicable to other versions.

  1. Getting Started With PowerPoint 2003 Audio
  2. Adding CD Audio to PowerPoint 2000/2003 Presentations
  3. Adding File Audio to PowerPoint 2000/2003 Presentations
  4. How to ‘Voice’ Your PowerPoint Slides with a Recording
  5. Play Voice Recordings Automatically and Across Slides in PowerPoint
  6. How To Create A Self-Running Presentation in PowerPoint 2000/2003
  7. How To Control When Elements Appear In PowerPoint 2000/2003