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I give presentations while standing and need to switch PowerPoint slides. Only controlling the forward button would be fine. My challenge is that foot pedals are not optimal for standing because they require you balance on one leg while pressing. For a long presentation where I need to press sometimes as frequently as every sentence (to trigger animations) this gets pretty tiring.

I would like to have a way to remain more firmly planted and evenly balanced on both feet. I imagine making a small gesture like lifting the toes or heel of one foot would be more comfortable than pressing a pedal.

How can this be achieved reliably for both Windows and MacOS? I know there are LiDAR devices that sense gestures, but I think I need a physical button of some kind to make sure every gesture is perfectly registered.

Alternatively is there a device I could hold in my hand that’s so small that it’s invisible for my viewers who watch me via a webcam even when my hands are in the frame. Tapping two fingers together to trigger the gesture?

The main reason why I want the device to be invisible or out of the frame is to avoid distracting my viewers. My background (a plain wall) helps with this. I'm also very minimalist with my slides and avoid having anything that's not directly related to my message. With that in mind, I want all of my visible gestures to convey meaning rather than being used to switch slides.

Automated transitions will not work here because the audience may interrupt to ask questions and I may need to adapt the presentation as I go.

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  • Since none of the other more sensible suggestions work, I'll toss in this (possibly idiotic) one ... figure out how to attach a mouse to the side of your shoe or, if you're behind a desk, your leg/knee. Then, like Dorothy, you can click your heels and ... if not return to Kansas, at least advance your slides. May 16 at 17:15
  • @SteveRindsberg Yes, the Dorothy gesture would be perfect, or tapping the heel or edge of toes against an object. I thought about mounting a keyboard to a heavy wood block in the vertical orientation. I would need to remove all other keys and make sure only the arrow is pressed. The idea is simple. I just wish there was a product that's designed for this. FYI, to get an idea of the speed, I need to press about 70 times within 10 minutes.
    – Bobby
    May 17 at 11:44
  • I've heard of people rewiring inexpensive wired mice so that, for instance, the same click feeds several PCs or two mice feed one PC. You might be able to disable all but the left click on an inexpensive mouse to do what you need, or possibly even reroute the left-click switch wiring to a more appropriate type of switch. Do watch out for falling houses, though. May 17 at 15:04
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There's a small ring advancer for PowerPoint available from Amazon here which fits your requirements of being easily concealed. It's a Plug and Play, which should work with both systems.

EDIT: Another thing you could do is time your presentation, then use the Transitions effect panel to have it fade into the next slide on that interval. It may not be as convenient as a clicker, pedal, or gesture, but it will go to the next slide easily.

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  • Certainly better than the clicker that I have, but I do think my viewers would notice it. I actually don't even want the thought to cross their minds that I'm holding something.
    – Bobby
    May 13 at 19:59
  • Automated transitions will not work here because the audience may interrupt to ask questions and I may need to adapt the presentation as I go.
    – Bobby
    May 14 at 8:50

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