Making Presentations Available Online

There are a number of presentations that CFFN members have given over the years and I would very much like to make them available for viewing online. So far, I have come up with a couple of solutions, both of which come with their strengths as well as their shortcomings.

The first solution comes from AuthorStream. They allow users to upload presentations with animation, timings, and narration. It then converts it into a viewable movie format. For a fee, you can turn it into a watermark-free video, upload to YouTube, etc. This seems to be a great way to share a presentation (Aside from the audio quality, that was recorded at a poor quality level on my part and has nothing to do with the site) – easy to share and embed, nice full-screen option, comments, etc.

The difficulty here is that the narration is done in one take (audio can be recorded per slide, but that becomes hard to keep track of) in PowerPoint and is difficult to edit or redo. Also high quality audio might start to balloon the file size.

(Ed: Note, this presentation was deleted, but the second test presentation still exists below.)

The second option is to make a movie using the presentation and uploading it to YouTube. This takes a lot longer to do and you lose all the transitions and animations in a PowerPoint presentation in exchange for static slides. The advantage is that the narration is easy to edit and the slides are the right length (i tried to use a free PPT to Video converter where the slides had to be the same length). Because of the conversion process, you don’t get a nice quality when the video is made full-screen. Also, there’s that pesky 10-minute limit that YouTube imposes on its videos.

In writing up this list of pros and cons, I thought about whether blending the two options would work. We would use audio software to record the narration, save each slide narrative as an MP3 file to pop into the slide show, and then upload that show to AuthorStream. I think this may be the balance between work and quality payoff.

Of course, you can’t embed .mp3 files in PowerPoint presentations because… I’m not sure why not. Fortunately, there are ways of tricking it into thinking an mp3 is a wav file. If only it was that easy tricking kids into thinking vegetables are chocolate!


Uploaded on authorSTREAM by cffn

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