For our events, we have slide show presentations. But we also want content on the screen during the breaks before, after and between talks. There are 3 viable options:
- Show a static image, such as a logo, event graphic or just a boring black screen
- Show an ordered slide show
- Show an random slide show
(It hopefully goes without saying, but showing a computer desktop is not at all professional, especially if you can see the powerpoint UI.)
Show a static image
This one is pretty straightforward. Just make sure to plug into the projector ahead of time, ensure the Mac uses it as a second display (not mirroring), and set the desktop background to the image you want to use. Make sure the resolution of the image is the same as the projector for optimal display (e.g. 1920✕1080 for standard HD). There are also some settings you'll want to change to get rid of the menu bar. See these instructions for more details.
Show an ordered slide show
Create a slide deck in PowerPoint, and then follow these instructions for creating a self-running presentation.
Show an random slide show
PowerPoint can't easily do random order slide shows. But thankfully there is an easier way.
Once you have you slide show in PowerPoint, click File > Export… then choose JPEG or PNG as the file type. This will net you a folder full of images, one for each slide.
(Pro Tip: Drop that folder onto an image optimizing program to reduce the size of each image.)
Now go to the screen saver preferences and use this folder as the source. More detailed instructions are in my post on Prepping a MacBook for Presenting.