Making Videos from PowerPoint Presentations

By on November 15, 2011
Making Videos from PowerPoint Presentations

Learn step-by-step how to create an HD YouTube video from a PowerPoint 2010 presentation and a companion audio recording. Whether your need is lecture or presentation capture, video podcasting, or creating knowledge on demand learning modules, this video covers the critical considerations and processes required.

The files used to create this video are available at

[youtube id=”aNkfZvjPHFE” width=”620″ height=”360″]

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Video Transcript

[title slide] Hi, I’m Richard Schumacher and this video shows how to make videos from PowerPoint 2010 presentations. Why would you want to make videos from PowerPoint? Well, there are three main reasons.

[slide] The first is presentation capture. This is typically used to provide students with convenience options allowing them to watch a missed PowerPoint-based lecture, review difficult or complex content, closely examine procedure steps, or watch special events or lectures that cannot be attended in person.

[slide] You may also want to create a video version of an existing audio podcast.

[slide] This “enhanced podcast” provides a way to include visual content reinforcing the original narration. Video podcasts are required when the visuals are crucial in effectively communicating the content to the learner.

[slide] The final reason is to create knowledge on demand videos. These provide highly focused “just what you need to know” training – engaging content teaching the essential skills for a specific task or learning objective. A knowledge on demand video is a great method to deliver solutions for common knowledge gaps and just-in-time performance improvement.

[slide] Low production costs, and limited software requirements, are the main advantages of this approach.
[click] You need PowerPoint 2010 as that version has the “Create Video” option we will be using.
[click] Audio editing software is used to improve usability and condense the recording.
[click] And you will need a reliable way to record a high quality audio file.

[slide] Your viewers have a number of expectations. They expect your video to be interesting and useful, concise, and visually engaging.

[slide] They also expect the audio to be clear and understandable. High-quality sound is a requirement, not an option.

[slide] And finally, they expect your video to be available in the format, and on the devices, they want to use.

[slide] For videos with public distribution, this usually means it is published on YouTube using HD video quality and standards. Over two billion videos are viewed each day on YouTube, and one hundred million of those views are through YouTube Mobile.

[slide] An important difference of HD video is the aspect ratio, the proportion of the screen width to height. For standard video this ratio is 4 to 3. HD has changed this to a widescreen 16 by 9 format, more like proportions of a movie theatre screen. Although you can publish videos and presentations to YouTube with the standard 4 to 3 video ratio, and a lot of content is still published that way,

[slide] doing so gives the impression you are publishing vintage content – or you’re just not keeping up with the times.

[slide] So what do we do since PowerPoint wants to create slides with a 4 by 3 ratio by default? Well, we use the PowerPoint option to change the slide proportions.

[slide] First, click the design tab.

[slide] Then click “Page setup”.

[slide] And finally, select the on-screen show 16 by 9 slide size. When you click “ok”,

[slide] Your slides will now be in the same proportion as HD video. Although you can do this with an existing slide deck, it’s best to start with a new blank presentation.

[slide] If you do convert an existing slide deck, you will need to review the presentation slide by slide and fix artifacts introduced by the conversion. Plain text usually reflows fairly well, but you may need to adjust the line spacing and any forced line breaks.

[slide] SmartArt also converts very well, automatically resizing to fit the new space available. However, text may not reflow as you expected on some SmartArt objects, typically requiring an adjustment in font size or forced line breaks. [slide] Your biggest problem will be with all the photographs and graphic images. They will all be distorted in width. You will need to remove the distortion on each image one by one.

[slide] First, right-click on the image.

[slide] Select “size and position” from the menu.

[slide] Note that the scale of the width does not match the scale of the height. In an undistorted image, they would be the same.

[slide] Within the scale settings, change the width to match the height. Click “close” to apply the settings and correct the distortion on this image.

[slide] You’ll need to correct this width distortion on every image and graphic in the slide deck. You may also need to rearrange the positions of text and images to better suit the wider slide format.

[slide] Content development has four main steps. In the planning phase you develop content and narration, or setup to record a live event.
[click] The final quality of your video is directly related to the quality of your audio recording. Take every action possible to make the best audio recording you can. And make sure you have permission before recording anyone.
[click] In production you edit and optimize the audio file, add “missing” slides and content, incorporate slide transitions and object animations, synchronize the slides to the audio, and output a video file.
[click] Publishing consists of uploading the video file to your hosting provider; adding a title, description and other metadata; and creating web links to the published video.

[slide] Also called “micro-lectures” and “knowledge bursts,” “knowledge on demand” is learning focused on a specific learning objective – how to quickly do a specific task. They are designed as very short, engaging activities to teach essential skills on specific narrow topics, usually in under two or three minutes. They provide on demand “just what you need to know” training.

[slide] Video podcasts are used when the visuals are critical in effectively communicating the content to the learner. By adding slides to an existing audio podcast, you can repurpose existing content in a new format. The trick here is to come up with the appropriate visuals.

[slide] Presentations and lectures based on a PowerPoint slide deck can be placed online as a convenience to the students, and provides another opportunity to repurpose content. Extensive editing of the audio recording is highly recommended to improve usability and condense the length of the recording. Since usually only the lecturer is being recorded, it is important for them to always repeat any questions asked by students. Since many presenters have a less than dynamic slide deck, you will usually need to add many more visuals and transitions to the PowerPoint file.

[slide] The simplest approach to audio is to record directly into your computer with a headset. The location needs to be free of external distractions and be relatively quiet. A carpeted room will absorb echoes and dampen the sound. Close the door and windows, and turn off any equipment you are not using to reduce background noise. Unfortunately, headset microphones vary tremendously in audio quality.

[slide] At the other extreme, professional-level recording involves placing the narrator into a soundbooth with a high-quality microphone, and feeding the signal through a compressor to a computer or digital recorder. You get a perfect audio track every time this way, but it takes a lot of expensive hardware.

[slide] Fortunately, high-quality digital recorders are now available at reasonable prices. Originally designed for musicians and videographers, these devices create excellent recordings on location and in your “office studio”.
[click] The Zoom H2 and H4n are examples of technology that “just works”.
[click] Place it on a tripod or mic stand in front of the presenter, point it at your presenter, and hit record. Just make sure not to point it at a video projector fan, or place it on a vibrating table. When finished, directly copy the audio file from the SD card into your computer for editing.

[slide] Use audio editing software to remove pauses and any defects from the recording. Excellent choices are Adobe Soundbooth, Sony Sound Forge, and the open source Audacity (with the LAME MP3 encoder). This software just looks complicated. If you only learn how to do one thing with audio editing software, use it to edit out pauses and repeated or unnecessary phrases. This is accomplished by listening to the audio track, then stopping and selecting the audio to remove, and clicking “delete”. Here the audio before the presentation started is being removed.

[slide] Click on the first slide of the presentation to select it. [slide] Click the “Insert” tab.

[slide] Select “Audio from file”, navigate to and select the edited audio file.

[slide] An audio player icon will be added to the first slide. [slide] Click the “Playback” tab.

[slide] Change the Start playback option to “Play across slides”. This allows the one audio file to provide continuous audio across all the slides.

[slide] Then select the “Hide During Show” option. This keeps the audio player icon from showing on the first slide in the final video.

[slide] Click the “Slide Show” tab. [slide] Select the “Start Recording From Beginning” option from the “Record Slide Show” button.

[slide] Deselect the “Narrations and laser pointer” option in the “Record Slide Show” dialog box.

[slide] Put on your headset so you can clearly hear the audio file, and then click “Start Recording”.

[slide] Your presentation will start as if you are delivering it to an audience. A “Recording” box appears in the top left corner. It is automatically keeping track of the time between slide and animation clicks. Click the spacebar to advance slides or activate animations according to your script in synchronization with the audio track.

[slide] Press the spacebar one last time after the last slide to advance to a final black screen. Make sure to give the last slide a few moments of display before doing this. The timed duration of the slide show will be displayed. Click “Yes” to save the timings.

[slide] Using the slide sorter view, PowerPoint now displays the slides with their individual timings.

[slide] We now create a video file from the PowerPoint slides, audio track, and timings. Click the “File” tab.

[slide] Click “Save & Send”.

[slide] Click “Create a Video”.

[slide] Select the “Computer & HD Displays (large 1280×720)” option.

[slide] Make sure the “Use Recorded Timings and Narrations” option is selected.

[slide] And now you can finally click “Create Video”.

[slide] You get to wait a while at this point. Depending on the size of your presentation, the length of the audio track, and the speed of your computer, you will get to watch the little bar at the bottom right slowly crawl to completion. It is usually a two to one to three to one wait (a 15 minute presentation may take a half hour or more to generate).

[slide] When the video is finally created, you can doubleclick on it to see your result. Now we need to place it where others can see it as well.

[slide] For public videos, we’ll place it on YouTube. Go to, and sign in to your account.

[slide] Select the “Upload” option.

[slide] And then “Select files from your computer”. Navigate to and select the wmv video file you created.

[slide] While waiting for it it upload and process,

[slide] give it a title, tags, description, category (education), and privacy setting.

[slide] When the processing is completed, a direct link to the video appears.

[slide] Use that link, or go to your YouTube channel, and view your completed video. Enjoy your work, tell others, and add links to it on your website. So what are the important keys to making successful videos from PowerPoint presentations?

[slide] Quality audio is an essential component of any video project. Make sure your audio is clear, short, and dynamic.

[slide] The best PowerPoint videos tell a good story or solve real-world problems through targeted, concise content. Edit, edit, edit.

[slide] And finally, you need effective, thoughtful, engaging visuals, and highly readable text. Sustaining viewer attention requires frequent changes – it may be in the slide content, or it may be the style or tone of the narration.

[slide] Now it’s your turn to create video content for your audiences.

[slide] All of the files for this presentation are available online. Get them at

[slide] I’m Richard Schumacher, and thank you for watching this presentation.

About Richard Schumacher

Richard Schumacher is the technology manager for the Workforce Solutions Group of St. Louis Community College. He connects, designs, and applies technology to meet business user needs with eLearning, training, web content, instructional design, IT system, and performance improvement solutions. Richard has held various Microsoft Certifications since 1993. Learn more about Richard by following him: LinkedIn - Twitter - Articles - Email