You don’t even have to be a video expert to make videos that your customers or clients may be interested in. If you lack skills in certain areas – perhaps the Audio-Visual Fairy hit you with the Unco Stick, you can easily use software to turn your INTERESTING (key word here is ‘interesting’) PowerPoint slideshows into a video. It is then able to be uploaded to the web, so you can have a self-hosted video or even add it to YouTube or Vimeo.
The point I’m making about keeping your content interesting, is important in that people will still not watch it if what you are showing them is a) not informative enough, b) not exciting enough, and c) TL;DR in it’s style. TL;DR, for those that don’t know, is the web acronym for Too Long; Didn’t Read. Or in this case “watch”.
Record with your screen recording software at a dimension that would suit most purposes, without going overboard. At this point in time I like the recording dimensions of 1280x720px – which is a 16:9 ratio, or widescreen. 1280x800px is 4:3 standard. This too is acceptable, but make sure that you are consistent with whichever you go with. The larger the size and resolution, the larger the file. I would record at higher resolutions for things like Photoshop demonstrations, but for PowerPoint slides you are fine.
Before starting, it’s a good idea to set up the page in PowerPoint so that if you record the entire page, you don’t clip information off the sides. I personally prefer to set the page to my recording dimensions to avoid this happening. In PowerPoint 2010, you can do this by clicking the design tab.
Click on PAGE SETUP and then set the dimension of your page using either the generic widescreen or standard setting depending on what you are choosing to record:
Or create a specific size which is what I generally recommend. The inputs you need for a 1280×720 pixel slide are the following:
If you have other dimensions you wish to record at, based on pixel resolutions, you can use a Pixel to Centimetre or Pixel to Inch converter. Bookmark this handy little tool.
Once you hit OK, you can go about making (or resizing) your slideshow. Once complete, you merely set up your recording software to record the dimensions of the finished Presentation and hit record, turning the pages as you go. Voila! Your slideshow. You can even add an audio track using Camtasia, or record with the free Audacity & a good mic and then combine the video and the audio track into an editing program and output as a final video.
Some Screen Casting software I recommend is:
- Camtasia from TechSmith. [Win/Mac] This is a paid software but has a decent range of capabilities and is my RECOMMENDED CHOICE. If you will be doing more advanced edits and stuff you will see why it is better.
- FastStone Capture (approx $20USD for a lifetime licence) – great litte screen capture tool with color-grabber, screen measuring tools and screen recording options
- SnagIt or Jing – These are both owned by TechSmith too (thus, same link) and Jing is the FREE alternative to the more advanced screen recorders.
- PicPick – Free for single users. Great program like FastStone Capture, but free. Cheap commercial price though too.