The “On…” series is a collection of short blog posts relating to data visualization, economics, presentation skills, or data communication. In each, I discuss an issue, concept, or idea that I have not fully developed, a work in progress, or just some thoughts about a topic or issue I’d like to share.


There are a lot of aspects to presenting virtually that are important to delivering a great presentation. You should consider your hardware like microphones, webcams, and lighting. And you should get familiar with the software tool you use, whether it’s Zoom, WebEx, Teams, or something else.

In this short post, I wanted to share two quick things about delivering a PowerPoint presentation in Zoom.

First, when sharing my slides, I prefer to use the Portion of Screen setting in the Advanced Tab. This option gives you an adjustable box that you can scale to any size on your screen. When delivering a PowerPoint presentation, this allows you to put the view over the main slide and then you can see all of your other slides to the side. This makes it easier to see your speaker notes and, if you’re running behind or want to skip some slides, you don’t have to quickly click through everything, but instead just select the next slide you want to show.

Advanced Zoom Meeting tab.
Using the Portion of Screen option in Zoom

Second, when using the Portion of Screen settings in Zoom for PowerPoint, it’s like you are working in PowerPoint. This means your audience can see when PowerPoint underlines your typos, names, or other words that are not in its dictionary. So if you are going to use the Portion of Screen option, make sure you turn off the automatic spellcheck! Here’s the Proofing menu in PowerPoint (on Mac) that allows you to turn off the automatic checking.

PowerPoint spellcheck menu

There are a lot of other skills, techniques, and approaches to giving an effective virtual presentation. Echo Rivera has been doing a great job sharing some of her tips and tricks, so you may want to check out her blog and videos. Also, in this article, you can find additional tips about how to perfect your work from home set up.

I’ll share some more virtual presentation tips and tricks over the coming weeks and months as I keep learning my own approaches and best practices.