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Seb Anthony

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Recording a presentation with narration


I need to record a number of presentations, with voice-over narration, and make them available to my community. You can do this directly with PowerPoint but the resulting file size - 20MB for 15m - is not usable. There are other tools but none that I can get to work! All I want is good quality sound + vision in a standard file format that's not vast. Any answers?
Dick Barton

5 Responses

  1. So many tools…
    We use a variety of products to do this. Articulate integrates with PowerPoint nicely but is fairly expensive. Adobe Captivate can do this easily and my prefered choice but again has a significant cost associated and isn’t quite as flexible when you import from Powerpoint. We also sometimes use a screen recorder called Camtasia but I’m not sure what the capabilities of this tool with PowerPoint are.

    Finally there is a free product from iSpring solutions (Google it) that might do what you need. Basically all of these products produce Flash based content that you can view in a web browser, it should be significantly smaller than the PowerPoint file size.

    A quick tip here, you can further reduce the file size by reducing the quality of the audio or images. If you’ve recorded the narration yourself on a standard PC microphone you can afford to reduce the recording (sampling) quality considerably without any real audible loss of quality.

    I hope this helps.


  2. Audacity
    You could try Audacity..

    It’s quite a popular (and free!) software package for creating / editing audio files (podcasts etc). I’m sure you could record and embed the resultant file into PowerPoint…

  3. Stick to the basics
    I made a 15 minute video the other day based on a slideshow, using Windows Movie Maker and the Sound Recorder, both of which were preinstalled on the PC.

    You’ll also need a good quality microphone to make a decent recording of the commentary.

    Sound recorder only allows you to record clips in 60-second bursts, but the Movie Maker software lets you insert and combine the clips into a bigger file (Audacity does this too, but I find Movie Maker easier to use for this).

    Admittedly, the file size of the completed video was 27Mb, but you can adjust the quality of both the sound recording and the video export in order to reduce the file size considerably.

    My advice would be to play around with it until you get the right mix of quality and file size.

  4. try a different system?
    Hi Dick, do you know anyone that has an Apple Mac instead of a PC? If they have Iwork installed it comes with Appples version of PowerPoint called Keynote that is vastly superior. It will allow you to import your PowerPoint and can then export it in a number of file formats one of which is as a quicktime movie. This will make your work portable and a lot smaller than the original as you can adjust size and quality until you get it down to what you want.

  5. Thanks everyone
    Thanks for your help. I managed to get Live Meeting to work – good sound quality and an hour’s recording comes in as a 10MB .wmv file.


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