What if you could present with a resizable webcam of you on the slide?
And what if you could then export the presentation as a video?
PowerPoint now offers a way for you to add a customizable, live web feed that appears on the slide, as you can see here.
It has more features than the ones that come with online meeting software, like Zoom or GoToWebinar and you can even animate it!
Finally, you can export your presentation as a video, including the Ccameo window.
Cameo is available to Microsoft 365 subscribers in the desktop app for Windows or macOS. If you have an older, permanent (not subscription) version or if you’re using PowerPoint on the web, you won’t have this feature.
Setting up Cameo
To insert a live camera feed into your current slide, follow these steps:
- Choose Insert > Cameo. A default cameo window appears on your slide.
- To turn the camera on (or off), click the camera object at the bottom left. You can also use the Preview button on the Camera Format tab that appears when you select the cameo window. Note: If you have more than one camera, you can choose the one you want to use by clicking the Preview button’s down arrow.
- The Designer pane might open. (If not, choose the Design tab, then Design Ideas.) A cool feature is that Designer (which provides you with suggested layouts) can create layouts that include Cameo. Choose one if you want.
- Choose your preferred Cameo style from the Camera Styles area, as shown below. These are similar to Picture Styles although there are fewer options. You can also click the tiny arrow at the bottom right to open the Format Camera pane. There you’ll have more options.
- To add a Cameo to your next slide, just copy and paste it. The copy can use a different style and be a different size. Tip: Use the Morph transition between 2 slides to morph the change from one style and size to another.
Remember that you have to design your slides to make room for the Cameo window. This will become obvious as you practice with the live web feed.
Note: PowerPoint has to have permission to use your camera. My Cameo worked without doing anything but if you’re having difficulty, search for Camera Privacy Settings on your computer.
Tip: You can put objects in front of the cameo window. A semi-transparent shape works well as you see here.
You don’t have to put the Cameo on every slide but there will be more continuity if you do.
Presenting with Cameo
You can then present and your audience will see you in the Cameo.
Obviously, the advantage of Cameo is when you’re presenting virtually. After all, if you’re presenting in person, people can see the whole you and don’t need to see you in a webcam window.
Only one application at a time can be accessing the camera on your computer, so you need to turn off the video in your virtual meeting software. For example, in Zoom, just turn off your video to allow PowerPoint to use your webcam.
Tip: Practice looking directly at your webcam so your eyes don’t make it seem as if you’re looking down.
Exporting a presentation with Cameo to a video
Finally, you can export the result of your presentation as a video. You present to yourself (others can be watching) and then turn it into a video.
Follow these steps:
Warning: When you record, your Cameo windows will be converted to videos on your slide. If you want to present live again using the Cameo windows, make a copy of your presentation and save one to be used live in the future. If you don’t do this, you’ll have to re-insert all of the Cameo windows from scratch.
- Have your Cameo windows all set and active (you can see yourself moving). If one is active, they’ll all be active.
- Click the Record tab, shown above.
- Choose From Beginning (or from Current Slide). You’ll go into Slide Show view (this screen is called the Recording Studio).
- Be sure to click the red Record button at the top and you’ll see a 3-2-1 countdown. You can now present as usual. The only difference is that the Cameo is there.
- When you’re done, click the last slide to end the recording and exit Slide Show view. You’ll see a screen letting you export to video. Your presentation file name is there and by default, the video will have the same name and be saved in the same location, but you can change that if you want.
- You can click Customize Video to change the resolution and other settings.
- When you’re ready, click Export Video, as shown below. You’ll see a progress bar and then a window that says, “Video exported successfully.”
- Strangely, you’ll always see the warning shown below that the location may be unsafe, at least I do. I have no idea why and since I trust my own computer, I click Yes to continue.
- Click the View and Share Video button. Your video will play in your default video player.
- Click Exit to exit the screen.
You can also choose the Retake button to rerecord. Choose On Current Slide or On All Slides.
How do you think you would use this feature? Would you use it mostly for live, virtual presentations or to create a video? Is it significantly better than Zoom’s webcam feature?
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