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Adding Narration to Power Point

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Kathie BrownAdding Narration to Power Point
by on Jun 19, 2009 at 2:44:20 pm

What is the best way to add pre-recorded narration to Power Point? I know that I need to use a sound editing tool to create separate audio files for each slide. But is this best done right within Power Point (I have 2003 & 2007 trial) or using an outside utility? Note: my delverable will be a Flash video. Thanks for any advice!

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Mark SuszkoRe: Adding Narration to Power Point
by on Jun 19, 2009 at 4:25:18 pm

I think if it was me, I would pre-record using an app like Audacity, and a good mic, play the sound file while running the slide show in rehearsal mode, where you can train the timing of the slides. Then I'd import the sound file into PPT and marry the two, tweak the timing to taste. You might skip a step and just import the sound file and rehearse with it already in the PPT.

Then again, by that point, I might skip PPT and do the whole thing in FCP:-)

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Bill DavisRe: Adding Narration to Power Point
by on Jun 19, 2009 at 10:21:38 pm

Record your narration as separate AIFF files for each slide. (may like WAV as well, see below for why my personal knowledge base may be out of date)

Then you import and add those audio files to the individual slides in powerpoint.

The process is described in the online docs. '

IIRC, you can have the audio files auto-play with the slide launch, or put a button on the screen to play the audio file. A note of caution. I don't have any serious recent experience with PPT under Vista - but back in the Win XP days - if the audio data rate was too big, we used to have lots of problems with files crashing. That may well have been fixed long ago.

I switched to running Keynote on a Mac laptop and my blood pressure must have gone down 10 points.

Not sure if any major re-writing was done to PPT to make it more external digital content friendly, but up to about 2 years ago, I used to be able to depend on the fact that if one of my presentations was going to crash - it would happen when I hit slides with embedded audio or video.

No longer an issue in my life, thank the gods.

Good luck.

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Tim KolbRe: Adding Narration to Power Point
by on Jun 27, 2009 at 4:28:10 pm

The problem with syncing audio to a Power Point presentation is that the wimpier machine used to do the presentation, the more the train ultimately derails because the system is simply struggling to keep the synchronization straight while it deals with the resource spikes caused by all the absurd and obnoxious flying text and quilt-wipes people use.

I've simply never been able to make it work on anything sub-workstation class...and salespeople who do presentations run word and excel...they don't have the juice for this.

I usually output all the slides as TIFFs or graphics of some type, load them into an NLE and edit them like I would anything else to the narration...output to a Flash, H.264 or WMV file...done.

This way, the resource load on the computer is constant (video playback at a constant framerate) and it all stays synced.

My .02.

Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,

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