You think of most presentations as being made up of slides, and most presentations look like that. But you can create a presentation that looks like it’s all one slide. This technique is excellent for sales presentations.You can do this in 2 ways:
- By using transitions between the slides and adding automatic timing. Narration or a sound track are good additions
- By adding animation that creates a seamless flow between the slides. You make the end of one slide (after animation) the same as the beginning of the next slide (before animation). It can be a black background, for a fade to black effect, or an image that covers the entire slide. Again, you would add automatic timing and narration or a sound track.
The animation technique is time consuming, because you need to get the timing just right and there’s quite a bit of artistry involved. So in this post, I’ll focus on transitions. I used to recommend not using transitions because their quality was poor, but in PowerPoint 2010, the transitions are much improved.
Here are the steps to create a fairly simple video-effect presentation:
- Decide on a story line and photos to illustrate the story. The story I used is a visit to Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. In my case, the photos drove the story, but you could start with a story (let’s say, about your company), and then find visuals to match.
- Write a script and decide which photos should match with each section of the script.
- Attach a mic to your computer and open a sound recording program. I usually Audacity, a free audio recording and editing program. I highly recommend it; it’s used by many professionals. It’s also easy to use. If you download it, be sure to also read the instructions for, and download, the LAME MP3 encoder, which lets you save files in MP3 format. (Note: You can also use PowerPoint’s narration feature and that’s what I did for the video below. But the sound quality isn’t as good; don’t be fooled by what you hear in the video below–I modified it in Camtasia, a video recording and editing program. On the other hand, it’s a lot faster and simpler, because it automatically saves slide timings for you. For more information, see “Secrets for successfully narrating a presentation.”)
- Record and save a separate MP3 file for each slide.
- In PowerPoint 2003, insert the appropriate MP3 file for each slide, by choosing Insert> Movies and Sounds> Sound from File. (In PowerPoint 2007, Insert tab> Media Clips group> Sound drop-down list> Sound from File. In PowerPoint 2010, Insert tab> Media group> Audio drop-down list> Audio from File. ) Choose the Automatically choice when you see this dialog box. The sound will start to play as soon as the slide appears. (This is the default in PowerPoint 2010, but to change it, select the sound icon, click the Playback tab that appears, and change the setting from the Start drop-down list.) Drag the sound icon just off the slide.
- In Windows Explorer, right-click the MP3 file, and choose Properties. In the Properties dialog box, click the Details tab to find the length of the sound. (In PowerPoint 2010, select the sound icon and you’ll see a play timeline. Move the cursor to the end and you’ll see a tooltip with the length of the sound.)
- Once you know the length of your sound file, set slide timing to match. In 2003, choose Slide Show> Slide Transition (In 2007, Animations Tab> Transitions to This Slide group. In 2010, Transitions tab, Timing group.) In the Advance Slide section, check the Automatically After check box and enter the number of seconds, which should be equal to, or slightly more than, the length of the sound. Again, you may want to adjust the timing slightly after viewing the result. Do this for all the slides.
- Go into Slide Sorter view to add a transition before each slide. Part of this effect involves choosing a variety of transitions. You choice will depend on the purpose of your presentation. For my slides of photos of the zoo, I felt free to use dramatic transitions. For a business presentation, you would probably choose subtler effects. Select the second slide (I like the first slide to appear without a transition). In PowerPoint 2003, choose Transitions on the Slide Sorter toolbar and choose a transition in the Slide Transition task pane. Choose a speed from the Speed drop-down list. (In PowerPoint 2007, go to Animations tab. In the Transitions to This Slide group, expand the gallery and choose a style. From the Transition Speed list, choose a speed. In PowerPoint 2010, go to the Transitions tab. Choose a transition from the gallery and a speed in the Duration text box.)
View the animation: