Have you ever thought about what makes some PowerPoint slides look a bit too much like PowerPoint? The Wipe animation effect is a chief culprit with its soft gradient edge. But there is an alternative, and it involves one of my favourite PowerPoint tricks, called ‘the mask’. So without further ado read on to learn three masking effects in PowerPoint to tidy up your slides, and bring them into the 21st century.
Got a set of slides you want to record some narration for? The PowerPoint narration tool is useful if you want to create an all-singing, all-dancing video version of your presentation. My colleague John has a great how-to for earlier versions of PowerPoint, but if you’re using the latest version, here’s how to record narration in PowerPoint, and do it like a pro.
The way this used to work in older versions of PowerPoint was that you’d navigate to Slide Show and click “record”. You’d get a pop-up window asking what you’d like to record (narration, timings, ink, etc), you’d make your selection, hit “OK”, and then the floor was yours straight away. Now, not so much. Let’s take a look at what’s changed.
How to record narration in PowerPoint
First, we’re going to open up the Slide Show tab, and hit “Record Slide Show”. You can choose whether to start on the current slide, or go right to the beginning and start recording from there.
Pressing the “Record” button opens up Presenter Mode, which looks like this:
One might see the interface and assume that the slide show is already recording. Alas, no. You must remember to hit the “Record” icon in the top left hand side of the screen. That’ll bring up a (slightly intimidating) countdown from 3, and then you’ll be ready to rumble.
From there, it’s pretty much as it used to be: click through, do some talking – you know the drill.
If you’re unsure whether your narration is being recorded, you can look out for two things. Firstly, the icons in the top left will change to “Pause” and “Stop” buttons; and second, you’ll notice the timer ticking along nicely in the bottom left.
The same rules apply about how the narration for each slide is embedded, but now you can easily hit “Pause” and re-record narration for specific sections of your presentation, without messing up the continuity of the whole thing. Nifty, eh?
Take a breath
One last thing, we’ve got a last-minute, yet handy PowerPoint narration tip: it’s tempting to jump straight in talking as soon as you’ve hit “Record”, but it will actually serve you better to wait for a breath before you launch into your script. PowerPoint can sometimes take a second to begin recording, which can lead to the start of your recording getting clipped off. Not good. An easy way to avoid having to re-record clipped narrations is to pause for a heartbeat before you carry on speaking.
That’s all from us. Now you can do it all in the record interface: click “Pause” to gather your thoughts, “Stop” to halt proceedings on your current slide, and then “Record” to have another go. This saves exiting the interface every few slides, reduces the strain on your computer’s CPU, and generally makes the process move along a little quicker. Nice one Microsoft.Leave a comment
Managing consultantView Hannah Harper's profile
Microsoft has released Presentation Translator, a translation tool for PowerPoint. It’s part of the Microsoft Garage Experimental Project, so you can imagine it’s not perfect yet, but it promises big. According to the website, it is a PowerPoint add-in that allows you to add live subtitles to your presentation, and it will translate the text in your PowerPoint document. But – does it work?
Countdown timers can be really effective ways of filling time in breaks at conferences or training sessions, or to give people a time limit to do an exercise or have a discussion. Follow these easy steps to create your own that is completely editable and see how easy it is to create a slick, branded countdown timer just using PowerPoint.
I absolutely love this, thank you so much. I have shared your fabulous resources with many folks. Thanks for all the brilliant work you do!Michaela Butterworth State of Kansas