Narrating and publishing your PowerPoint

I’ve been experimenting with different online presentation services, such as the various places you can upload narrated PowerPoints or PowerPoints and then upload the audio files to synchronize with the slides, such as authorStream and SlideShare. Both of these services look promising, but authorStream limits file sizes to 30 MB, which sometimes is not big enough for a narrated presentation (and the only type I consider really worthwhile to post) and SlideShare requires that you record your audio and then upload it in a separate file, synchronizing the narrations to the slides. (This really isn’t as difficult or time-consuming as it sounds, but it does require some extra time.) What other options are available? Here are others that I would recommend:

If you are a PC user, you can use the Camtasia PowerPoint plug in, narrate your PowerPoint, and then export it as a podcast file. You can then upload it to your site on our iTunes U site (not ready yet, but will be soon!). Your students and audience will then be able to view and listen to your presentation through iTunes or view/listen to it on their iPod.

If you are a Mac user, you can use GarageBand (free on all Apple computers) and create a podcast, inserting your PowerPoint images and creating chapter markers. You can even insert hyperlinks. Also, PowerPoint on an Apple allows you to narrate your PowerPoint and then export as a movie file, which can also be uploaded to iTunes U for viewing/listening.

There are also many programs that offer educational pricing for converting narrated PowerPoints to flash files, for viewing online. (You can also convert PowerPoint to flash using Camtasia.) One of them that is particularly well-known is Articulate. After you create your flash file, you can then upload that file to free online sites, such as TeacherTube, YouTube, or blip.tv for viewing by others.

So, spend the time and effort recording your presentations, whatever format they take. Narration with appropriate images and the right amount of text (read Beyond Bullet Points by Cliff Atkinson for really good strategies for building great presentations) will make your presentations come alive, hooking your listeners.

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