How to Convert a Simple PowerPoint Presentation Into a Compelling Web Video

In this article we will provide a step-by-step guide for turning a PowerPoint presentation into a compelling video. Ever heard the saying “death by PowerPoint”? I am not sure it is an actual phenomenon but it’s probably a risk worth avoiding. Instead, do something interesting and useful with your PowerPoint presentations.

This video is an example of how we turned a PowerPoint presentation into a compelling video for easy sharing.

Practically, this is a tremendously useful tool. It can be used for the following purposes:

1) In large organisations, a video like this can be used for internal communications. It ensures that staff across the organization are receiving the same message in the same way
2) For global brands, when it is impossible to be there in person to meet everyone, videos like this can be used to deliver a message to many people at once.
3) Distribution of online video is easy and accessible. It can be shared on social media platforms or via email. By hosting your video online you will give it a longer life and the opportunity to be seen by a wider audience than originally imagined (if appropriate).

How to do it

These instructions have been written on the basis that the reader will have at least a basic understanding of the fundamentals of video editing and how to use PowerPoint.

There are two main elements in the video above. Firstly, you have the presenter. Secondly, you have the integrated PowerPoint slideshow. Each element needs to be produced separately to some extent before being joined for the video.

The presenter

The first step is to produce a ‘script’, which the presenter will read to camera and which will eventually accompany the presentation slides in the final video.

  • The presenter needs to be shot in a green screen studio. It is important that the studio is a sound controlled environment and that professional lights are used to evenly light the presenter.
  • The presenter should be edited using the chroma keying process in order to create a transparent background.
  • The presenter will take up one continuous track on your editing timeline. We would recommend Adobe Premiere Pro but you will achieve similar results with most editing software available on the market, including the basic iMovie software.

You don’t have to have a presenter in the actual video, you could also just record audio to provide a voiceover for the slideshow. YouTube is host to thousands of videos in this style. They can be produced easily by using screencasting software that allows you to record audio, through your computer, over what is taking place on your screen. Examples of software include Camtasia and Screenflow. See the following example.

PowerPoint presentation

You need to take your PowerPoint presentation and export each slide individually in to a high quality image file e.g. a JPEG.

Each JPEG then needs to be imported into your video project.

The slides can be placed on one track, one following the next, on your timeline. Once you have placed them correctly, to fit the elements of the script as delivered by your presenter, you can then think about final touches.

(It is worth noting that it is possible to save a PowerPoint as ‘a movie’ from the File menu. This would produce a video of the slide show. This wouldn’t have been the best option for our video as we wanted to control how much time was spent on each individual slide).

Final touches

Background colour

You may decide to have your slides fill the entire frame. This might not be appropriate as the presenter may cover some elements of text or images on the slides. In which case, you need to select a background colour or theme. This can be achieved simply in Premiere Pro in a couple of different ways. One way is described in an online tutorial here. A second option would be to create a JPEG in Photoshop that is the colour of your desired background. You can then import this JPEG like any other file and use it as the foundation video track so that everything is layered on top of it.

Transitions

Rather than sharp cuts between slides, you can add transitions between slides using the Video Effects menu in Premiere Pro. Simply drag and drop the appropriate transition type onto the point in between the two slides. You can also edit the length of the transitions.

This tutorial explains how to work with transitions:

Distribution

When your video is complete, export as an MPG and upload it to your YouTube channel or other hosting. You can then embed the video by generating an embed code. You can also share the video using the link generated in YouTube (or other hosting), by email or using social media.

This is a great way to make the tedious process of creating a PowerPoint presentation more worthwhile, with little effort. If you like the idea of a professionally produced presenter in your video, video production companies like My Web Presenters can offer this service at a price that won’t break the bank… maybe you could also get a web presenter produced while you are there!

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