Better Presentations–Hide those Windows

This is part of a series of tips for speakers to make your presentations better.

I wanted to give some specific SQL Server presentation items that have bothered me recently. These aren’t big things, but they do cause problems for attendees, and that might mean the difference between someone learning what you are presenting and getting lost because they can’t easily see.


How does this look?


It’s bad. Imagine if you were 15 feet back from the presenter, which is how this looks on a screen. I can barely see code.

If you look at the Object Explorer, there’s this little item in there .I’ve highlighted it below.


There’s also one on the Properties window.


In fact, my SQL Test window at the bottom, most SSMS add ins and  Visual Studio windows have them.

Click them. They’ll hide the windows, like so.


This is a much cleaner view of things.

But, Steve, you’ll say. I need those windows. I get it, I need them, too. They’re on the side of your screen and you can pop them open. They’ll stay open when you work in them, and disappear when you don’t.

Gone when I don’t need it.


Here when I do:


It’s a quick tip, and it’s easy to learn. Once you practice with hiding and using windows, I’m sure you’ll find that you work more efficiently all the time, not just when on stage.

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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8 Responses to Better Presentations–Hide those Windows

  1. Pingback: Making Better Presentations–Tips and Tricks | Voice of the DBA

  2. MickyT says:

    Another thing you can do is unhook the query window from the container and maximize it. This is particularly effective if you have dual monitors


  3. way0utwest says:

    Not sure that’s great for presentations in front of an audience, but it can work well for other activities.


  4. Girijesh Pandey says:

    Good, new thought!


  5. saleyoun says:

    I will go even further by reducing the tool bars to one row. Presenters should make an effort to learn how to access via shortcuts 50% of what is on the first and 2nd tool bars on your examples above. Show and hide the result pane by using CTRL+R or configure your SSMS to do so in case it doesn’t work. Increase the font on the code window by using CTRL+Scroll mouse wheel.


    • way0utwest says:

      I dislike moving toolbars since they’re small and I use items in there. That’s very disruptive to my flow of working with SSMS if things are moved.

      Certainly CTRL+R is a must. Good tip for CTRL+scroll. I use that at home, but I rarely have a mouse when I present, so I don’t use that.


  6. Uwe Ricken says:

    Hi Steve,

    absolutely agree with it. Additional to what you will hide / unhide I take care before any presentation to have a font size of min 16 for the code AND the output!

    Saleyoun – your tipp is ok to size the output but you should have it as a standard while you present. Otherwise you will loose time with EVERY output to resize it.

    Best practice (if you have tabular output): Make sure you are familiar with ZOOMIT – it is a “must have” for evey professional presenter!


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