When you give a presentation, you want your audience thinking about what you are saying, not what program you used to create your slides. After your presentation is finalized, you can save it as a show that runs without the need for you to go into PowerPoint. This way, you don't have to open PowerPoint and choose View| Slide Show to run your presentation. Instead, the show runs automatically when you open the file. Slide show files are saved with a different file extension (.PPS) than regular PowerPoint files (.PPT).
1. Choose File|Open and click the Look in drop down box to find the folder your presentation is located in. Double-click the filename to open the presentation.
2. Choose File|Save As.
3. Change the Save as Type drop-down box to PowerPoint show. You can either leave the default file name (which is your presentation filename with a .PPS extension) or type a new one.
4. Click Save. The file is saved to your hard disk with the filename you specified. If you look at the file in Windows Explorer, you see that it has a "show" icon, instead of the regular PowerPoint file icon.
If you want to run your show from your desktop, open Windows Explorer. Find your new PowerPoint show on your hard disk. Right-click and choose Send To Desktop (create shortcut). Right-click your new shortcut and choose Rename to give the shortcut a more user-friendly name. Double-click the icon to run the show.
Note that if you decide to change your presentation later, you need to save it as a slide show again in order to run it from the slide show file. Follow steps 1 and 2 and in step 3 be sure to save the new .PPS file with the same name as the old one. When PowerPoint asks if you want to replace the existing file, click Yes.
Not everyone owns PowerPoint, so if you want to package your slide show up and take it somewhere, you can use PowerPoint's Pack and Go feature. In PowerPoint 2003, this feature is called Package for CD. Either way, the tool gathers all the files you need together along with the PowerPoint Presentation Viewer. With the Viewer, even people without PowerPoint can run your show.
Choose File|Pack and Go (or File|Package for CD in 2003). Go through the wizard and be sure to tell it you want to include the Viewer.