Since many of us (or maybe ALL at this point) are switching to a distance learning/teaching environment, an alternative to face-to-face student presentations in seminars could be the use of Microsoft PPTs with a voice over narration OR with speaker notes (for those who find the first intimidating or have limited internet access — we should be flexible in the present circumstances). So, in the following I will share with you how to…
- record a narration to your PPT slides and save it as an MP4 video file
- upload to a dropbox folder following a request link
Or, alternatively, how to…
- add speaker notes to your slides and
- save your presentation with your notes into a PDF document (to be uploaded to a requested CooSpace folder)
Note: I am using a Hungarian version of the Power Point app, so that’s what you will see on the illustrations. I will try and give the English equivalents of the options you have to click on. Also, you can download the PDF version of this tutorial.
How to record a narration to your PPT slides and save it as an MP4 video file?
Once the slides of your presentation are in place, you can add to them a voice over narration with or without a video (of you, the presenter). NOTE: Maybe don’t use fancy transition moves between the slides as they tend to enlarge the final file and, more importantly, your narration is not being recorded during slide transitions!Choose the Slide Show [Diavetités] option from the main menu of Microsoft Power Point application. Click on the RECORD SLIDE SHOW [Diavetités rögzítése] option — you can start recording from the first slide (beginning of your presentation), or from any slide you are working on at the moment.
By clicking on the Record Slide Show option, the program will switch to a presentation mode. In the top left corner you will see the record options (record | stop | play), you will have access to your notes (about this more in the section on how to add speaker notes to your slides) and set up your microphone and camera options (it’s best to leave them at their default settings :)). At the bottom of the page you have additional options at your behest: you can erase, circle and highlight textual passages on your slide, mute the microphone (in case your slide is running an audio or video file), and add or delete the camera recording of the speaker (it’s ON by default, see the right bottom corner). With the arrows on the left and right you can transition between the slides and continue with the recording (or work on each separately).
Once you are done with the recording (of a slide) the Design menu will pop up on the right side of your main Power Point window offering you choices: how you would like to display your narrated slide (especially if you are using the speaker camera).
Thank God, you can DELETE the recordings from your slides (individually or from the whole presentation altogether — cf. image below). Practice makes perfect. And don’t be dismayed by your voice (or your hairdo!) — I definitely won’t judge you on how you appear in a home made videos (pot/kettle ;)). I will pay more attention to what you are saying and displaying on your slides 🙂
Once you are finished with your project, go to the FILE option in the main menu, click on SAVE AS (mentés másként) and choose the location where you want to save your presentation and, more importantly, the file output format as MP4. Note: You might want to save your presentation as a PPT first (just in case you need to work on it later) 😊
[For those of you who would like to explore this or other PPT features in more detail visit the official support site by clicking on this LINK.]
How to upload to a dropbox folder following a request link?
In case you didn’t know: if you have a GMAIL account then you also have a YouTube platform/channel. So, if you want to, you can upload your presentation video to your own YouTube channel and share the private or public link to a designated CooSpace [the online course platform at University of Szeged] folder/forum.
However, you can also upload your video presentation file to a dropbox folder I have created for our course. You just have to click on a request file link (which will be provided in the course scene) and follow the instruction on the screen. Once the presentation videos are in the dropbox folder I will create a viewing link (to each) and post it in a dedicated course forum where your peers can watch it and add comments to it.
This is how a file request link works. Click on a link provided (in a news-board announcement on CooSpace). The link will take you to a page similar to the one seen below. To upload your file, simply click on the CHOOSE FILES button. A file explorer (fájlkezelő) will pop up and you will have to choose the file you wish to (well, more like must) upload.
Once you have chosen your file, dropbox will ask you to provide your contact info (so that I know who the uploader is). After you fill in your info just click on the UPLOAD button (see image below).
How to add speaker notes to your slides?
If you find all of the above intimidating or if you have limited access to internet (and uploading a video would be cumbersome), you can choose to provide your presentation in a written format by adding speaker notes to your slides.
You can add notes to your slides simply by clicking on the VIEW (Nézet) option (underlined) in the main menu of Microsoft Power Point app and clicking on the NOTES (Jegyzetek) option.
- Write your notes in the split (bottom) window of your power point screen. Please, write complete sentences and paragraphs – don’t just add a draft and bullet point list (that’s what the slide is for!). You peers and I would like to be able to follow the train of your thought and argument. This is how it should look like (note: I am using the lorem impsum dolor text for illustration purposes only!). Also NOTE that if you need more space for your notes, you can enlarge the notes’ window/screen by resizing it (as you would any application window on your desktop — just drag up or down the line separating your slide and your notes).
How to save your presentation with your notes into a PDF document
To save your PPT as a PDF with the notes, go to FILE and instead of the SAVE (or SAVE AS) option click on PRINT. Choose the Microsoft Print to PDF option and make sure to click on the option arrow in choosing what portion of the presentation you want to print. Click on the PRINT ALL SLIDES (Az összes dia nyomtatása) option — it should be the default setting but just in case).
Finally, click on the small arrow to display the slide page options (the way you want to print your slides — usually it is set on the FULL PAGE SLIDE so you will have to) choose the NOTES PAGE option from the pop up menu. So, your final document will look like the page in the preview (displaying both the slide and your notes).
When all of the above is done, click PRINT (finally! right?) and don’t forget choose the location/folder on your computer where you want it to be saved/printed.
OK, so this is really the final step: upload your presentation’s PDF into a designated folder or forum on the CooSpace. That’s it. No really, that’s IT. 🙂