Thursday, December 13, 2007

How to make a PowerPoint Presentation into a Camtasia Video

Obviously, turning those old PowerPoint presentations over into online videos has a great deal of marketing potential. It's very "Web 2.0" and all that stuff. So, properly done - and uploaded to YouTube, et al. - and linked, will then give you a great deal of "cred" and also bring people to your site as a marketing ploy - in other words, it can bring you prospects and leads.

How to do it in simple steps:
  1. Get a copy of Camtasia and install it, along with it's Word plug-ins.
  2. Play the Powerpoint and record your voice as you go.

How to do it in not-so-simple steps:
  1. Record the audio as a commentary on a book or product.
  2. Make a Powerpoint based on that recording (I used OpenOffice's Impress).
  3. Export that Powerpoint to a PDF
  4. In the full Acrobat, save that PDF as PNG's. (Less distortion in the image.)
  5. Import your audio and PNG's into Camtasia and time the images to the audio.
  6. Save your video.

The first one is simpler and easier, but may not have the production values you want. I haven't tried it, as I use Open Office (no plug-in).

The second is more precise and allows for considerable leeway in editing. If you have some improvement to make (add a slide, for instance), then you simply import the image and put it where you want in the flow of things.

If you only recorded it from a live performance, you have to give the whole performance again. Being able to specify timing ensures you don't have the homily miscues which plague all live PowerPoint performances.

So there you go. Have fun.

Oh - you can also post the MP3 you recorded by itself as a podcast...

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Update and note (071214):
There's a 10-minute max for videos to YouTube - so plan accordingly. I started out with a 20-plus-minute ramble which I cut down to 17 minutes and then had to pare this down to a mere 10. Very precise. So hosting your hour-long powerpoint will probably be on your own dime. BUT - for viral projects where your computers or bandwidth doesn't enable you to generate decent video, PowerPoints are an excellent way to get things across.

I plan on creating these for several other key books - so that my Lulu pages will have embedded video as a sales point. Note that I can also have downloadable MP3's on those pages (also hosted on someone else's dime), adding to the experience. So that 20-plus-minute MP3 might live to see the light of day...

And once I streamline the process, you can bet I'll be setting up several more of these for the various books I'm already marketing. Looks to be a great tool for online seminars as well, so I can extend this into my autoresponder series and create online courses for most of the books I've already created. (Another income possibility...)

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