SlideRocket Blog

How to Email a PowerPoint Presentation – 8 Things That Can Go Wrong

By John Rode on February 18, 2011

Emailing a PowerPoint presentation seems like it should be a simple thing. But all the slide design stock images, video and audio that can make a PowerPoint compelling are the very things that make emailing PowerPoint slideshows so clumsy. Those assets quickly balloon a PowerPoint’s file size, which is where the trouble begins.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the presentation online? This way when you email the presentation you’re just sending a link. How easy is that? Try SlideRocket for free and find out.

Emailing a PowerPoint – What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Emailing anything but a basic PowerPoint requires a fair amount of preparation, communication and wizardry. But everything should go as planned so long as the following criteria are met:

  1. Your recipient has PowerPoint or PowerPoint Viewer
  2. You properly embedded any audio files in the correct folder
  3. You properly embedded any video files in the correct folder
  4. You made sure the file size doesn’t exceed your email service provider limit
  5. You know what file size your recipient’s email provider will accept
  6. You ensured your recipient has a matching version of PowerPoint, or the proper compatibility pack
  7. You didn’t zip the file using self-unzipping executables which can set off alarms on your recipient’s computer
  8. Your recipient isn’t trying to view the PowerPoint on an iPad

And have you ever emailed your PowerPoint slides and then immediately wish you hadn’t? You forgot to update the pricing on a quote. Or forgot to delete a slide from your last client presentation? Online presentations let you make those changes, even after the slides are emailed. Heck, they even tell you when your recipient views the slides so you know if you still have time to make changes.

Bring on the PowerPoint Email Widgets

I suspect there’s a PowerPoint plug-in, widget, zipper, converter or drop-box out there that tries to resolve the challenge of emailing a large PowerPoint file. To try and compress the file size, while at the same time hoping it looks the way it’s supposed to when it gets to the other side.

You may run into the same kind of problems when looking into how to embed a YouTube video in PowerPoint. It can be done, but usually requires help. An entire industry has emerged designed to try and stretch PowerPoint’s capabilities to match how people use presentations today.

Presentations rarely just sit on a computer waiting to be presented to an audience anymore. People share, email, upload and collaborate presentations. They want to use video and audio, the ability to make presentations available to broad audiences, and view them anywhere, including presenting from an iPad.


  1. Aaron Helman

    February 18, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

    Don’t forget my most common annoyance; sending a PowerPoint to someone who doesn’t have the necessary fonts installed.

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    February 18, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

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  3. Arte

    February 22, 2011 @ 4:00 am

    When sharing audio/video on CD, ppt requires files to be on desktop before burning the CD. One possibility is to create a folder with all the components and zip it before mailing or sharing.

  4. John Rode

    February 24, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

    Hi Arte,

    I believe you are correct. There is a 3 step process for emailing video and audio. Move everything to a separate folder and zip that up to send. If you just email the PowerPoint by itself of course nothing will play because it’s stuck on your desktop. You also need to be careful that the method you use to zip the PowerPoint files before emailing will be acceptable to your recipient.

    - John

  5. Slide Buddy

    February 28, 2011 @ 5:51 pm

    The powerpoint email widget sounds like a lifesaver. Ugh, I remember my college days when I tried to email a PDF file and we had an ancient Internet connection, it literally took hours before I got anything sent.

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  8. John Rode

    April 12, 2011 @ 9:41 am

    Hi Slide Buddy,

    The problem of emailing a PowerPoint presentation persists even with high speed internet. The files sizes just keep getting larger which increases the risk that the file won’t go through.

    The widgets are duct tape. They compress the PowerPoint files or provide a place to upload to that’s online. Helpful but you’re still on the desktop.

    - John

  9. CIOinOz

    August 3, 2011 @ 2:49 am… I’ll never touch PowerPoint again!

  10. John Rode

    August 4, 2011 @ 10:04 am

    That’s the spirit CIOinOz!

  11. Pingback by Presentation Programs for your Imagination: A Revolution | SlideRocket Online Presentation Software

    August 17, 2011 @ 6:50 am

    [...] In years past, even as the number of PowerPoint users has swelled to the hundreds of millions, presentations have been tightly bound by the inherent limits of PowerPoint. The most critical constraint has been file size. Because PowerPoint houses every shape, image and chart within each file, the resulting file sizes are large enough to choke even the finest of email systems and trip all but the most robust websites and blogs. Hefty multimedia files only compound the problem, further ballooning file size or requiring storage in a separate file. Bottom line– it’s often just too clunky and complicated to email a PowerPoint presentation. [...]

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    October 21, 2011 @ 10:50 am

    [...] of slogging along with the same old PowerPoint presentation, boring your audience to tears, emailing gigantic attachments, managing a version control nightmare, and agonizing over presentations that are outdated the [...]

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    March 7, 2012 @ 9:24 am

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