How do I see speaker notes in PowerPoint app?

The PowerPoint app allows users to view and edit PowerPoint presentations on mobile devices. One handy feature of the app is speaker notes, which let presenters add notes to each slide that only they can see.

Speaker notes serve as prompts and reminders for the presenter that are not visible to the audience. They enable the presenter to elaborate on key points, cite sources, and keep the presentation on track. The PowerPoint app makes these notes easily accessible on a mobile device.

This guide will explain how to enable speaker notes in the PowerPoint app, view them during a presentation, edit them, and keep them synced across devices.

What Are Speaker Notes?

Speaker notes are additional notes or comments that a presenter can add to each slide in a PowerPoint presentation. They contain more information than what appears on the slide itself. Speaker notes allow the presenter to elaborate on key points, provide background info, cite sources, and add other details.

The definition of speaker notes in PowerPoint is text entered in the notes pane below the slides. The notes are hidden from the audience and only visible to the presenter in Presenter View. The notes act as prompts to remind the speaker what to say about each slide.

Why Use Speaker Notes?

Speaker notes serve an important purpose – they help the presenter remember key points without needing to put all the information on the slides. By using speaker notes, the presenter can expand on topics, provide examples, cite facts and figures, and explain concepts more fully, without overcrowding the slides themselves.

Well-crafted speaker notes act as a guide for the presenter to elaborate on ideas, while allowing the slides to be clear and concise. Speaker notes help cue the presenter on what to say for each slide, while enabling them to maintain eye contact with the audience instead of reading directly off the slides. This results in a more dynamic, natural delivery.

Essentially, speaker notes help the presenter convey important details, stories, and asides that strengthen the presentation, without bogging down the slides with too much text. Audience members can better focus on the slides and visuals when the presenter uses notes to provide context and supporting information not contained on the slides.

Enable Speaker Notes View

To enable the speaker notes view in the PowerPoint desktop app, follow these steps:

1. Open the PowerPoint presentation you want to view speaker notes for.

2. Click on the “View” tab in the top navigation ribbon.

3. In the “Show” section on the right side, click the “Notes Page” button. This will open the speaker notes panel on the bottom of the screen.

4. The main slide will display in the top portion, while the speaker notes will be shown in the bottom portion. You can now view and edit the notes for each slide.

The speaker notes view allows presenters to have notes and slides visible at the same time when rehearsing or giving a presentation. It’s an essential tool for adding helpful prompts or details in the notes that don’t appear on the slide. To exit this view, simply click the “Normal” button in the “Show” section of the ribbon.

Accessing Notes in PowerPoint App

To access speaker notes on an iPad or iPhone, first open the PowerPoint presentation in the PowerPoint mobile app. In the bottom right corner of the app, tap the icon that looks like a text box to open the notes panel. This will display the speaker notes for the current slide you have open.

The notes will appear on the right side of the screen, while the slides themselves remain on the left. You can scroll through the notes independently of the slides. Tapping on any slide thumbnail will also automatically display the notes for that slide.

To hide the notes again, simply tap the text box icon again and it will close the panel. You can also swipe from right to left to hide the notes.

While presenting in slideshow mode, you can view your speaker notes on the iPad by enabling Presenter View. Tap the three dots in the top right while in slideshow mode and choose “Show Presenter View.” This will display your notes prominently on the iPad while only showing the slides themselves on the projected screen.

Overall, accessing speaker notes on an iPad or iPhone is quick and easy through the notes panel or presenter view in the PowerPoint app. This allows presenters to have their notes readily available on a mobile device.

Viewing Notes While Presenting

One of the main benefits of using Presenter View in PowerPoint is the ability to view your speaker notes while presenting. With Presenter View, your speaker notes are displayed on a separate monitor or window from the slides your audience sees.1

To enable Presenter View, go to the “Slide Show” tab and click “Presenter View”. This will open the presentation in a new window with larger slide previews and a dedicated space for notes below. You can view your notes for each slide here while your audience only sees the main slide content on the presentation screen or projector.

Presenter View keeps your notes private but easily accessible as you present. You can have full speaker notes visible the entire time without the audience seeing them. This allows for a smoother, more natural presenting experience. Additionally, being able to view notes means you can include more detailed information in prompts for yourself without worrying about the audience seeing all the text.

Editing Notes in the App

One of the handy features of the PowerPoint app is the ability to edit speaker notes directly in the app, without needing to switch to desktop PowerPoint. This makes it easy to tweak or add notes as you’re practicing your presentation on a mobile device.

To edit notes in the PowerPoint app:

  1. Open the presentation in the app and activate Presenter View.
  2. Tap on the Notes pane to enter editing mode.
  3. Make any changes or additions to the notes as needed.
  4. Tap outside the Notes pane to exit editing mode.

The updated speaker notes will sync automatically across devices once you save changes in the app. This allows you to seamlessly edit notes on mobile and desktop without worrying about version issues.

One limitation is that editing notes in the mobile app only applies to the current slide. To quickly edit notes for multiple slides, it’s best to switch to the desktop PowerPoint application.

Working Offline

One of the key benefits of the PowerPoint app is the ability to view and edit speaker notes when you don’t have an internet connection. However, there are some limitations to be aware of when working in offline mode:

You can only edit notes for presentations that are saved locally on your device. Presentations stored in the cloud or SharePoint Online will not be accessible.1

Any changes made to notes while offline will be saved locally. But those changes will not sync back to the online version until you reconnect to the internet.2

There are storage limitations for offline data based on your device memory. Complex presentations with large amounts of speaker notes data may not fully sync for offline use.3

Images and multimedia inserted into notes may not appear correctly when editing offline. Placeholders will display instead.

Advanced editing of slide formatting and transitions is disabled in offline mode.

It’s a good idea to periodically reconnect to sync your changes back to the cloud and avoid version conflicts.

Syncing Changes Between Devices

One of the most useful aspects of using OneNote for speaker notes is that any changes made will sync automatically across devices. So if you update your speaker notes on your laptop, those updated notes will also appear on your mobile device or tablet when you open the app. This ensures you always have the most up-to-date set of notes, regardless of which device you are presenting from.

To enable this syncing, you need to be signed into the same Microsoft account on all devices. OneNote uses the cloud to store your notebooks online, allowing seamless syncing between devices. Anytime you have an internet connection, changes will be uploaded to the cloud and pushed to your other logged-in devices. This all happens in the background automatically.

OneNote will even sync changes when offline, upload pending updates when it regains a connection. So you can edit speaker notes on a flight or somewhere without internet access, and still have those edits propagate once back online. This is incredibly useful for on-the-go presentations.

The ability to access the same up-to-date speaker notes on any device, even when offline, is a major benefit of relying on OneNote rather than just physical printed notes. It enables flexible preparation and practice from anywhere, using whichever device is most convenient at the time.


In summary, speaker notes are an effective way to add additional content and cues for your slideshow presentation. By enabling speaker view in PowerPoint desktop, you can access these notes from the PowerPoint mobile app while presenting. This allows you to view your speaker notes privately on your mobile device as you show your slides to your audience.

A few final tips for using speaker notes effectively on mobile:

  • Make your notes concise – avoid lengthy paragraphs that are difficult to read on a small screen.
  • Bold key words or phrases you want to remember to say out loud.
  • Sync your PowerPoint file before presenting to ensure you have the latest set of notes.
  • Dim your mobile device screen brightness so it isn’t distracting as you glance at your notes.
  • Practice presenting with your notes to get comfortable referring to your mobile device.

With a thoughtful set of speaker notes synced to PowerPoint mobile, you can deliver a smooth, professional presentation anywhere – even without your laptop.

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