Seamlessly Transitioning Presentations with Pre/Post Slideshows 

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Did y’all hear my screams of excitement yesterday??!!! I just solved a big little something and there’s only so many people in my world that can appreciate this and understand how helpful this is - and some of them are here, so I’m sharing! 

CHALLENGE: We have “pre-session” rotating slides to show before the presentation. Then we have to swap slideshows. This looks and feels clunky and is even worse when the laptop is at the podium and not off stage. Or if you’re doing a virtual event and aren’t setup properly to quick switch screen sharing.

NOT-A-GREAT-RESOLUTION: Most attempts to resolve this involve adding the pre-session slides to the presentation slides, but the challenge there is that you only get one go-through of the rotating slides, or have to predict how many iterations of the pre-session slides to add, etc… or you have to go with multiple laptops and a switcher setup.

BRILLIANT RESOLUTION: Any PPT slideshow can be converted into a timed movie file. And while you won't want your presentation slides as a movie, we'll start with a movie within that presentation. Let me explain... Once your pre/post session PPT file is done, export it/save it as a movie (it's a save/export option in PowerPoint), then add ONE SLIDE to the front of the actual presentation file and one slide to the end of your presentation file. Now, on each of those two slides, drop the movie file of the pre/post slideshow onto those presentation slides. You can then set the movie file to play automatically, LOOP until stopped, and then only advance to the presentation slide when you are ready to start. If you do that too early, you can go back and the movie will start again and continue looping. So you remove the guesswork of timing. You remove having to switch presentations. And you remove any interruption at the front of the room.

WANT TO GET EXTRA FANCY? If you aren't already managing pre and post session music (royalty free of course!), you could add music to the pre/post roll slides that will export with the movie - then it will continue looping with slides, and end at the appropriate time as well when you click forward into the presentation.

CAVEAT: If your pre- or post-session rolls change last minute, you have to re-export that set of slides into a new movie and drop the new file in. Not the end of the world, and still doesn’t take that long, but definitely something to note. If you were using slides, you would have to edit the slide anyhow so it’s six of one, half dozen of another…

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