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How to Make Sure Nothing Embarrassing Will Interrupt Your PowerPoint Pitch

May 23, 2014

You took the first step — buying technology. Now all you have to do is master it. We’re here to help, with tips and tricks you may have missed. If you know them already — well done, guru! If not, there’s no better time to start learning than right now.

Skill Level: Beginner

When you’re in Presentation mode in Windows, your screen saver and system notifications don’t appear, and your laptop won’t go to sleep.

(You might also want to specify a piece of uncontroversial artwork for your desktop wallpaper, so your bosses and potential bosses won’t accidentally spot the HotBikiniBabes.com JPEG you usually use.)

But, first, to enable Presentation Mode, you.ll need to get to the Windows Mobility Center, which is Microsoft’s centralized hub for managing everything that makes a laptop a laptop: battery, wireless networking, Presentation Settings, and so on. The quickest way to get there is to choose its name from the secret Utilities menu (press Windows Key + X, or right-click the Start button).

You can also open the Start screen, type mobility, and select Settings under the search box. In the search results, click Windows Mobility Center.

Here’s the list of tiles that may appear in your Mobility Center. You may not have all of them, depending on what kind of computer you’re using and what components it has. And you may have more of them, if your computer company installed its own options.

Presentation Settings. This feature is the answer to a million PowerPoint pitchers’ prayers. It makes sure that your laptop won’t do anything embarrassing while you’re in the middle of your boardroom presentation.

On the Presentation Settings tile of Mobility Center, click Turn on. When the tile says Presenting, your laptop won’t go to sleep. No alarms or reminder dialog boxes appear. The screensaver doesn’t kick in. You’re free to give your pitch in peace. Click the icon to open the Presentation Settings dialog box shown above.

Excerpted with permission from David Pogue’s Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual from O’Reilly Media.