Have you ever used a video in a serious PowerPoint presentation? Probably not. If you have, maybe you included a product demo or a clip from a speech by your CEO. That is, you played a video for your audience that happened to be embedded in a PowerPoint file.
Here’s another idea: why not use a video as a component of your design, integrated with other objects, like you might use a photo? Recent versions of PowerPoint (I’m using 2013) provide some useful tools for this approach. A huge variety of video clips is available from the usual stock photo sources at reasonable prices (I have paid $15-$60). Or you might make your own video.
However, like many PowerPoint features, video must be used with care or it will become a distraction. Make sure that your design actually adds to your message and engages the audience in a positive way.
Over at Acme Services Inc., title slides (presentation and section intro slides) often get considerable attention and use large impactful images and professional graphic design. Like other organizations, Acme wants to make a powerful first impression and, in the case of section titles, provide a clear transition and set the stage for the upcoming section.
This seemed to me to be an opportunity for “title slides” featuring video.
Here’s a video-based title slide for Acme’s customer service business:
Here are some notes:
- I acquired this video from 123rf.com. For purposes of this demo, I chose a low resolution version (240p) for 15 “credits” ($15 or less). You will probably want to use higher resolution for business purposes.
- After you Insert/Video, set Start to Automatic on the Video Tools/Playback menu. This will add the video playback as an event in the animation pane so that you can coordinate the playback with other animations. There will also be a “Trigger” item on the animation pane that implements the play on click option. For simplicity, I Remove the Trigger item.
- The original clip was in 16×9 widescreen format. There were visible artifacts at the lower right corner of the white background. I cropped the video box to eliminate them using Video Tools/Format/Crop. This made the video background match the white slide background.
- The original clip was 19+ seconds long. I used Video Trim to get the part I wanted (the last 9.1 sec). This is pretty easy; move the sliders and watch the playback to get the result you want.
- I added the red rectangles above and below the video box.
- Annoyingly, the playback briefly returns to the first frame shortly before it stops. I couldn’t find a way to fix this so I applied an Exit/Fade animation effect to the video object just before the end; that is, the video disappears before it ends. I also added a Entry/Fade to the video object before it starts. Note that these are animation effects, not the video playback fade in/out option.
- The text entries are timed to synchronize with the video. An Entry/Fade for the logo occurs With the Exit/Fade for the video object .
Here’s the annotated animation pane for the slide. Unfortunately, the duration of the video clip is not shown on the animation pane; I added a blue line to approximate the duration.
Here’s another example
- This video is also from 123rf.com and is resized to full screen size (the video object has been stretched like any rectangle). As you can see, a higher res video should be used for this application.
- The video is Trimmed and Entry/Fade is applied as before.
- A dark blue slide background is used.
- An audio clip from soundrangers.com provides a sound effect. It is set to Play “Automatically” so it appears in the animation pane. It has been Trimmed like the video. Playback fade-in and fade-out are applied.
- Two text objects are animated as before.
- Near the end of the audio/video playback, a semi transparent rectangle overlays the video/text and the text and logo appear.
Here’s the annotated animation pane for this slide; lines have been added to indicate the audio/video durations:
As you can see from these examples, you can apply most of the animation effects to the video object so that they occur during the playback. You can also apply format effects to the video as if it were an ordinary object. This pretty silly demo applies an outline, 3d Depth and rotation along with a motion path and a Shrink effect:
Using video in PowerPoint is a relatively easy way to add movement (and sound) to your presentation. However, like animation, video must be used with deliberate care or it will be intensely distracting. In particular, selecting the right video (and audio) clips may be a challenge.
Since this post uses licensed video and audio clips, I won’t provide a copy of the PowerPoint file as I usually do. I hope the post includes enough detail to allow you to apply the power of video to your presentations.
Please comment if you have questions (or answers).