Presentations Guide

This is a short guide for members making an online presentation.

GP and PP have tried various methods of presentation. The most obvious way to do this seemed to be to use Google slides but we had problems with audion and video, and when the presentation was uploaded to web, sometimes the audio and video would not play due to Google limiting number of plays - apparently a bandwidth problem. We also looked at embedding the slide presentation within the PECE website. This is possible and gets around any audio and video limitations but requires a lot of work by both the presenter and the webmaster. GP's presentation is now in YouTube and PP's is a video uploaded to the website.

Recommendation

We think that the easiest and most versatile solution is to produce a digital video. Most people are familiar with slide presentations, so the way to start is to create a slide presentation in whatever software you have. The standard is Microsoft PowerPoint but is not free. You can use OpenOffice (OO) or LibreOffice(LO) which have common roots and are very similar. Both are free and replicate the Microsoft office software. The OO/LO version of PowerPoint is Impress. This will allow you to produce slides that can be exported as PowerPoint files (.pptx). Do not add any audio or video to your presentation at this stage, only images or photographs. Before producing slides or images for the video try to reduce the image size (pixels) as much as possible to keep the final video size manageable.

Audio

Audio should be produced separately using software such as Audacity which is free for home use. There is plenty of audio recording software to choose from. Record a separate audio file for each slide. Audacity will automatically place your recordings in Music folder, but you can create a folder specifically for your audio. It is important to name each audio file to relate to the slide subject, not by slide number, in case you add or delete slides. When using Audacity it is easy to trim the audio so that any intial and final silences can be removed. Audio output should be in mp3 format. to keep file size as small as possible use mono recording.

Create the Video

The next step is to open up suitable video editing software. We have tried out ActivePresenter(AP) and OpenShot(OS), both of which offer free versions. AP is easy to use but you may have to download version 7 rather that the latest version 8 to get your .pptx file to load.

AP works with each slide individually and allows you to add your audio file to the slide (use the Annotations tab). The audio file will start at the start of the slide, but should be moved to the right to give a pause before speech starts. The end of the slide should be moved to the end of the audio file. (It sounds complicated but is easy when you are doing it). You can play the whole sequence in AP before you export as a video. The free version will only allow export to an mp4 video file.

OS is more of a video editor than presentation software and shows the whole presentation in the edit screen. You could overlap audio and slides, and if you wish play music over as many slides as you wish.The video software will allow you to save the video in various formats. In most cases you don't need to save it in high definition. If you do you will get very large video files of 100mb or more. Adding transitions can increase a file size by 30%.

Upload Presentation Video to web

The mp4 video that you have now produced can be played on your computer in any media player such as Windows Media Player. If you are going to show it to members there are several ways it can be done. Googlemail will not directly allow email files of more than 20-25 Mb, however a large file can be sent to the webmaster via Dropbox, Google drive or similar. Alternatively you can upload your video to YouTube and then issue the link to the file to members or have the link posted on the website. You can do the upload from ActivePresenter or your own YouTube account.

If you are thinking of doing a presentation, you should play around with a couple of slides in the suggested software before making a complete presentation.