It's official − women are better at multitasking than men. Psychologists have proven that men really are worse at multitasking than women, although it does depend on the task. When researchers tested the truth of the commonly held belief they found that when women and men work on a number of simple tasks − such as searching for a key or doing easy maths problems at the same time − the women significantly outperformed the men. Scientists believe that the results show that females are better able to ponder a problem, while continuing to juggle their other commitments, than men.

In the study, 50 male and 50 female students were given eight minutes to perform three tasks at the same time: carrying out simple maths problems; finding restaurants on a map; and sketching a strategy for how they would search for a lost key in an imaginary field. As they performed the tasks, the volunteers also received a phone call that they could either choose to answer or not. If they did answer, they were given an additional general knowledge test while they continued to carry out their other activities.

While women were able to perform well in all four activities at once, on average men performed worse when it came to planning to search for the key. The male volunteers started their search in a less logical place, such as the centre of the field, and they would not cover the whole area when they were outlining their search. Women tended to enter in one corner and search in concentric circles or lines. It shows that women are better at being able to stand back and reflect for a moment while they are juggling other things.

However, another study has shown that both men and women find it difficult to multi-task whatever the mission. New research shows that the mind can easily deal with two separate tasks at the same time, because it can channel them into the two separate parts of the front of the brain. However, when a third activity is introduced the mind becomes overloaded as the brain typically struggles to do too many different things at once.

When it comes to presenting with PowerPoint 2010, there's no need to worry about multi-tasking: you can now present cross-presentations effortlessly using multiple files and multiple monitors.

PowerPoint 2010 gives you a completely separate window for each presentation that you open. So you can view and edit multiple presentations independently, side-by-side, or even on separate monitors. Your presentations are not bound by a main or parent window, so it's the ideal way to reference one presentation while working on another. You can use the new Reading view to show two presentations in a slide show in separately managed windows simultaneously, with full animation effects and full media support. Previous versions of PowerPoint allow you to open multiple presentations, but not to view these simultaneously.

Copying slides from one presentation to another is also easy: by simply selecting a slide, then just click and drag the slide into your open presentation. The Paste Options menu item allows you to use the Destinations theme to re-spec the 'new' slide in the same theme as the presentation you have pasted into; or you can Keep the Source Formatting from the original slide.

To select a colour treatment, click the View tab on the Ribbon and in the Window group you can select a treatment such as Cascade or Arrange All which rearranges each slide out into equal sized windows. By selecting Switch Windows, which is also in the Windows group, you can move between the different presentations that are open; this menu also shows all the different titles of the files that are currently open.

It's not possible to open the same presentation twice in the same window, but you can make a clone of a presentation. To do this, click the New Window button in the Window group in the View tab. When you do this the figure 1 will appear after the title of the file open in the first window, and the figure 2 after the title of the second file in the new window. If you close the clone, the number will disappear from the title of the presentation you cloned the second file from.

Unfortunately, PowerPoint does not allow you to deliver more than one presentation at once - yet! It's probably only a matter of time before multi-monitor-presentations become the norm. Until then, it's up to us to practise the techniques of multi-tasking. Now, where did I put those keys?