Two for One PowerPoint
Organizations spend a great deal of money, time, and resources developing Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. However, many miss an opportunity to get even more mileage from this investment by using the presentation as the basis for both a webinar and a video.
Webinars vs. videos
Both webinars and videos offer benefits, albeit different ones:
- A webinar's strength lies in its immediacy. Webinars offer customers an interactive, high-energy experience. Attendees usually have the opportunity to ask questions of expert presenters. Companies gain a valuable connection with contacts and potential customers.
- A video is a polished, visually appealing way to educate or excite viewers. Videos often reach a broad audience and can be used in a multitude of ways.
Webinars and videos also have differing requirements and restraints:
- Webinars, which have fairly simple production values, should have low bandwidth demands; video usually incorporates more complex graphics and recorded audio tracks, so it requires more bandwidth.
- Webinars are given by live presenters that interact with live audiences. Videos are not live, and thus no interactivity takes place.
- Webinars' pacing can be slower than that of videos.
- Viewers experience webinars from beginning to end but often jump through videos to find desired content.
So how can an organization use one presentation to create such diverse products? Planning is the key.
Four steps to success
By thinking ahead, companies can head off expensive and time-consuming revisions and develop a base presentation that can form a foundation for both webinars and videos.
- Start with the basics. The first thing to understand is that webinars need toned-down animations and embedded objects; videos should pump up animations, add transitions, and take advantage of embedded objects. Therefore, the first step is to build a deck with high-quality, carefully chosen professional graphics and animation. Avoiding embedded video or other bandwidth-greedy objects at this stage is important.
- Plan for the future. During development of the deck, the organization should be thinking about the "bells and whistles" that will be added for the video: animations, transitions, video overlays, and so on. Planning these components at this stage will help ensure they fit seamlessly with the existing style of the presentation.
- Think before speaking. Speaker's notes are fine, but organizations should be aware that these notes in their entirety aren't likely to be suitable for videos. Many educational webinars contain pages of notes. Pacing of the audio is not hurried because the emphasis is on learning. The audio of the finished webinar is a great resource for the video creation, but organizations will want to trim this audio first. Furthermore, if the webinar audio wasn't professionally recorded, the sound quality may not be adequate. Good audio is vital for a successful video.
- Provide a roadmap. Especially when transitioning a webinar to an educational video (for use in an education library), companies should either provide chaptering so that viewers can easily find the content they want or consider creating multiple, smaller videos.
More collateral for less cost
By planning for both webinars and videos when creating PowerPoint presentations, companies can reduce production costs by leveraging elements in both versions. The result is an integrated, cohesive set of materials that can be used for a variety of purposes, from educational to promotional.
Easily present your Powerpoint presentation on an iPad
Moving your Powerpoint presentation to an iPad is not an easy feat, since Microsoft never released a Powerpoint viewer for the iPad. But Slideshark has - and it's surprisingly useful.
Upload your presentation to your iPad
Uploading your presentation is very straight-forward:
- Create an account on Slideshark.
- Upload your presentation.
- If you have not done so yet, download the free iPad app from the AppStore.
- Log into the iPad app and download the presentation from the Slideshark's website.
That's it - you are ready to present.
Presenting from your iPad
On your iPad, use AirPlay or Apple's HDMI adapter to connect to your screen and present directly from your iPad. Even better, Slideshark supports a special presentation mode where your audience sees your presentation, but you see the slides, your notes, the prior and next slides. There's also a timer that allows you to keep track of the elapsed presentation time.
All of this works straight out of the box - we did not have to fiddle with fonts, colors, images or animations. Everything was preserved.
What's not supported
There are a number of Powerpoint features that are not supported:
- We could not play back any embedded videos.
- slide transitions did not work, either.
- According to Slideshark, advanced animations might not work fully either. Neither will hyperlinks or any 3rd-party components.
Slideshark has instantly become our favorite Powerpoint presentation tool on the iPad. If we need video, we use Keynote. We don't miss the lack of transition support - less is often more when it comes to presenting. And everything else Slideshark handled well.
Powerpoint in Motion
Many people have seen presentations that incorporate animations. But if it has been a while since you explored Microsoft PowerPoint’s animation capabilities — either because you think they are too complicated or because you have experienced a less-than-professional animated presentation — take another look. Professional, well-executed animations can bring a presentation to life and keep viewers’ attention.
Easy as 1, 2, 3
PowerPoint provides built-in animation capabilities. Some visual effects are easy to implement:
- Entrances and exits of graphic elements and bullets
- Changes in size, color or rotation of text or objects
- Movement of elements You can hide items to focus viewer attention precisely where and when you need it. In short, animation allows you greater control over your information.
Suppose you want to explain to your audience what is involved to get a new version of a product launched, including all the various tasks that your company, its suppliers and third parties have to perform. It’s not trivial to explain this succinctly, so that your audience will be able to follow along.
Rather than creating pages of pages of text bullets, an animation might be a much better way to tell the story. Just take a look at the image sequence above. Do you want to see the full animation in PowerPoint? Simply download the presentation from our website.
Of course, quality graphics and text are the basis of a well-animated presentation. Professional content development is the first step and can take the pressure off internal resources.
Why we will adopt Adobe Creative Cloud
As part of its Creative Suite 6 announcement, Adobe also confirmed pricing for its new Creative Cloud service, which allows you to use all Creative Suite applications, plus some other features, for a monthly fee - initially, $29.99 for the first 12 months, then $49.99 thereafter.
Within our digital agency, all of our employees mainly use five different adobe products - Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects and Premiere. The most affordable way to acquire these licenses for these five programs is by purchasing the Creative Suite Master Collection.
As of today, the Creative Suite Master Collection upgrade from CS5 to CS6 cost $1,399 and can be purchased from Amazon for as low as $1,145. Since Adobe typically upgrades its Creative Suite every 18 months, the Creative Cloud Service will cost us $900 per user for 18 months, or as much as the Educational version of the Master Collection would cost us, if we would qualify (which we don't). So to us, it is a no-brainer that we will sign up for the Creative Cloud service.
Make Your Presentations Unforgettable
In the hit film Memento, the protagonist uses an intricate series of tattoos to keep track of his progress in hunting down the criminals who attacked him, robbing him of his short-term memory. You might not be fighting crime, but by understanding how short-term memory functions, you can create killer Microsoft PowerPoint presentations that will stick with viewers.
Forget me not
Short-term memory — also called working memory — actively holds information in our minds so that we can perform verbal and nonverbal tasks such as reasoning and comprehension. Our working memory also makes this information available for further processing.
In general, this short-term working memory has a limited capacity. By breaking information into chunks, we can improve the chances that our message will be remembered. Keep it simple:
- seven digits
- six letters
- five words
- three phrases
Less is more
What does this mean for your presentation? Format your slides with small chunks in mind, and viewers are much more likely to retain the information you present. For best understanding and retention, Digital Dazzle suggests that you limit each PowerPoint slide to these maximums:
- Five bullets of one word each
- Three bullets, each consisting of one phrase or sentence that does not exceed one line
Need to put more bullets on a slide? Use animation to build the list. Just be sure to reveal no more than these recommended maximums at each step.
Presenting: PowerPoint Done Right
Unfortunately, great presentations tend to be few and far between. Presenters often try to explain concepts by using Microsoft PowerPoint slides packed with words and bulleted lists. What these presentations miss is the opportunity to do what PowerPoint does best: show your audience your message.
From awful to amazing
Fortunately, Digital Dazzle can rescue your presentations from PowerPoint purgatory. The key is to remember that your audience isn’t interested in your PowerPoint prowess. They’re interested in your message.
Digital Dazzle creates optimized screen mockups that clearly illustrate the concepts you want to communicate.
For example, the screen shot below shows how our partner, Lithium, intends to combine an externally-facing community conversation (shown in the right column of the screen) within Brainpark, an internal collaboration tool (shown in the left column of the screen). This integration will allow employees of their joint customers to internally discuss support issues while seeing in context what users are saying publicly.
Note that the functionality shown does not yet exist. But instead of trying to explain how the integration would work, Lithium used our mockup to show to their customers how the integration would work.
You can expend a lot of effort and thousands of words trying to explain an emerging concept — and still fail to communicate your idea to your audience. Instead, Digital Dazzle creates a visual example of the concept as if it already exists, so that your audience can see how the result will actually appear.
Digital Dazzle typically creates between four and six mockups that clients can then use to visually demonstrate complex concepts or proposed solutions that don’t yet exist. We can also create infographics and animations to help you tell your story.
By letting your audience see your ideas as they will look when complete, you can create a shorter, more focused presentation and make an immediate impact on your listeners.
Contact us for a no-cost consultation and learn how to give your presentations real power.
How to mirror your iPad / iPhone screen on your Mac
Have you ever wanted to use your Mac to record the action on your iPhone or iPad screen? It used to be that you used to have quite an elaborate setup to do so.
Not any longer. The new Reflection App allows you to do so via AirPlay. And at $14.99 for a single license ($39.99 for a 5 pack), it is much less expensive than any other means we've used or seen.
What you get for your money is full iPhone / iPad (running iOS 5) mirroring, including audio, with orientation updates and video optimization features, similar to what you would get with the Xcode iOS simulator. In our tests, our iPad screen looked crisp and snappy on our iMac and audio sounded fantastic. In test recordings via Screenflow, we saw no frame-slipping, but had some audio recording issues that we're digging into right now.
If you have a need to display your iPad screen on your Mac, esp. for screen recording purposes, Reflection is an app you need to have in your arsenal.
Add Video Power to Your PowerPoint Presentations
A truly great presentation keeps viewers engaged by showing them your ideas. A fantastic way to do this is to embed video in your Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. Using video can serve a wealth of purposes — if it’s done right.
Action speaks louder than pictures
How does your organization use PowerPoint? Many organizations design presentations for multiple situations:
- To propose a partnership or make a sale in client meetings.
- To introduce work concepts in internal meetings.
- To demonstrate products in the company kiosk at trade shows.
- To educate staff about a new product.
In each instance, a well-placed video clip is worth considering. Imagine how much more potent viewers’ experience — and your calls to action — could be if you use the full potential of PowerPoint.
- Add a demo or screencast that shows users interacting with the product.
- Present a clip that demonstrates what to do (or not to do) when implementing a new work policy or meeting with a client.
- Provide testimonials from satisfied customers.
Fortunately, the current version of PowerPoint provides support for incorporating video.
|PowerPoint 2010 (Windows)||PowerPoint 2011 (Mac)|
|Windows Media (WMV)||Yes||Needs Flip4Mac player|
|Quicktime or h.264||Needs Quicktime player||yes|
|AVI||Needs AVI player||Needs AVI player|
To see what video formats you are able to play on your computer, download our PowerPoint Test Page.
Easier embedding — and linking
PowerPoint 2010 supports embedded video as QuickTime, Windows Media or AVI files (.mov, .mp4, .wmv or .avi file formats). On Windows, you’ll need to have the appropriate QuickTime and AVI players installed (64-bit versions if you run PowerPoint 2010 64-bit). On Macs, you need Flip4Mac or an AVI player. Embedding the video allows you to keep the media file with the presentation.
However, if you’re concerned about the size of your presentation files or have video content that might be changed or updated, PowerPoint 2010 also allows you to link to an external video file or a website. (Of course, you’ll need to be sure that viewers will have access to an Internet connection in the latter case.)
The process of embedding or linking a video from within a PowerPoint presentation is fairly straightforward:
- Embed a file — Go to the Insert tab in the Media Group, click Video, click Video from file, choose a file, and then click Insert.
- Link to a file — Follow the same steps as to embed a video, but instead of clicking Insert as a final step, click the down arrow on the Insert button and choose Link to file.
- Link to a video on a website — On the Insert tab, click Video, click Video from website, and paste the embed code (which you must retrieve from the website) into the Video from website dialog box. Click Insert.
Embedding or linking a video is simple but doesn’t, of course, guarantee the quality of the clip, its appropriateness for the task at hand, or the quality of the playback.
Start the show
When you’re ready to distribute your presentation, PowerPoint 2010 gives you numerous options. Before deciding which one to use, you need to ask two questions:
- Which systems will the finished product run on and what are their technological specifications?
- Will the presentation be given manually (with a live person running the show) or automatically (self-running).
Depending on your answers, you can decide which delivery approach to take:
- Broadcast the presentation over the Internet to a remote audience.
- Burn the presentation to CD or DVD.
- Set up a self-running package.
- Publish the presentation online.
- Convert the entire presentation to Windows Media Video or Quicktime.
Each type of distribution requires its own preparations — anything from compressing files to burning disks to configuring automatic slide forwarding and locking down user controls. As with every aspect of successful PowerPoint design, it’s best to have at the helm someone who understands the ins and outs of the application.
A polished presentation, every time
Creating presentations that include video elements can be an amazingly effective way to generate excitement and persuade viewers to take action. (For more information about using the power of video to create energy and spur action, read the Communications and Connections article in this issue of News and Views.) Talented presentation specialists know how to create crisp, vivid and smooth-running packages that can deliver the promised punch.
Just be aware that — aside from the thought that should go into effective content — expertise is often a prerequisite for creating a high-quality, easily distributable presentation.