Well the short answer to this is yes...you can temporarily eliminate the playback bar to Presenter's skin in a couple of ways, and the most common approach is to publish your PPT deck using Presenter, and in the data folder of your published content, look for the vconfig.xml file that is created as a result of the publishing process.
Open that xml file in Notepad, TextPad or Notepadd ++....what you're looking for is a node that looks like this:
<uishow name="playbar" value="true"/>
If you change the value to "false" and re-run your content (by double clicking the index.htm file), the playbar area will be gone.
One of the drawbacks to this is that you completely loose the Play/Pause, Back and Next buttons. In some cases, you can modify Presenter's playbar element using Actionscript, but I doubt very seriously that this is a path you want to explore, and there are a couple of reasons:
First, if using code to make the playbar larger, all the "nested" elements (including the play/pause, back/next, audio btns, etc) will ALSO SCALE PROPORTIONALLY based on any modifications made to the main playbar element. Put another way: all the buttons that show up in/on the playbar are nested within the playbar object in Presenter. It's like a "parent-child" relationship thing. There are workaround to this, but unless you're familiar w/ coding in Actionscript, I'd strongly recommend that you give this some serious thought.
Second, even IF you decided to plow ahead, just remember that ALL of those buttons are derived from png files...and that means if such graphical elements are resized/scaled up, then you're going to end up with jpg-artifacts such that the resulting imagery for the buttons will look nasty.
Bottom line Brandy, I'm not saying you can't work with the playbar...but I am saying that your reasons for doing so should be solidly founded before wading into those waters....it can be done, but I think you may find yourself spending a lot of time tweaking things that may/may not offer any serious benefit.
Thank you so much. We will take a look at all of these options, but I think that, on first glance, we might be best served to look at hiding the playback control bar and then just putting our navigation buttons within the PPT slide itself.