The rise of remote working has changed the way we work – and for many of us – how we present. Asynchronous knowledge transfer is becoming more common so there’s more need to record narration in PowerPoint. The PowerPoint Record tool can help you create an all-singing, all-dancing video version of your presentation. There are even some recent updates that allow you to capture video of yourself too. Let’s take a look!

We provided tips for recording presentation narration in earlier versions of PowerPoint in this blog post, but if you’re using the latest version of PowerPoint, stick with us for your how-to guide.

Why record video in PowerPoint?

Including a video of the presenter in pre-recorded content can be a great way of connecting with a remote audience, especially if you’re delivering education or training virtually. It puts a (hopefully friendly!) face to content and can allow you to showcase subject matter experts.

How to record presentations in PowerPoint

The main new feature of the latest update is the ability to record video in PowerPoint. Here’s how:

  1. First, on the Slide Show tab, click the Record It will give you the option of recording from the current slide, or from the beginning of the presentation.
    screenshot of PowerPoint showing the Slide Show tab open. The Record drop down menu is open with two options: From Current Slide and From Beginning
  2. When you make a selection, the record view will open – and it’s had a bit of a facelift!
    Screenshot of the Record presentation mode in PowerPoint
  3. Next, get set up. Just like in Zoom or Teams, you have the option to toggle switch the camera and microphone. Just a note – to turn your camera on, you must first unmute your microphone. You can also click the more options symbol to choose which camera and microphone source to use. If you haven’t tidied the office in a while and want to blur your background, select the camera mode symbol at the bottom of the screen and click Blur Background.
    On the left is a small screenshot of the camera and microphone settings from the Record presentation mode in PowerPoint. On the left is a screen shot of the video options (Show/Blur background).
  4. When you’re ready to start presenting, click the record button. The screen will show a countdown and you’re good to go!Screenshot of Record presentation mode in PowerPoint showing the countdown.
  5. When you’ve finished recording there are a few options:
    • Exit Record mode by clicking Exit. This will automatically save your recordings to each slide. You can review these by putting your presentation into Slideshow mode.
    • Export the recorded version of your deck straightaway as a video, by selecting Export Video and using the file directory to choose where to save your recorded PowerPoint.Screenshot of the Export to Video option in the Record mode in PowerPoint

More tips for recording narration in PowerPoint

The annotation panel at the bottom of the screen gives you the option to draw on and highlight areas of your slides. There’s also a laser pointer!

Screenshot of the annotation panel in the Record presentation mode in PowerPoint.

You can pause the recording if you need time to catch your breath and resume again by pressing play. You can record video/narration for individual slides, or for several slides at once. When you’re done, press stop.

One important thing to remember when recording your presentation in PowerPoint – take a breath during slide transitions. PowerPoint doesn’t record narration during transitions, so if you speak over a transition the audio will stutter. Instead, take a second and continue your presentation once the new slide builds in.

What else is new?

Video recording is not the only new feature in PowerPoint’s Record presentation feature. The old notes pane (or should I say …pain!) was small and difficult to use. The new Teleprompter view shows your speaker notes nice and big, positioned at the top of the screen just below where the webcam is on most computers. This means when you read your notes, you’re looking at the camera. More direct engagement with your audience! Hooray!

You can switch between Teleprompter View, Presenter View and Slide View using the Views tab in the bottom right corner.

Screenshot of the Teleprompter View in PowerPoint with the Views drop down open

Messed up your lines? No bother! The new retake feature means you can easily re-record video and narration. Click Retake Video then choose either On Current Slide or On All Slides.

Screenshot showing the Retake Video options

Post-production

Once you’ve recorded your video in PowerPoint, there are several editing options.

You might find (like in the screenshot above) that the video window produced by your recording covers your slide content. Don’t fret! This is easily rectified because you can reposition and resize the video window.

PowerPoint screen shot showing the video window in the top right hand corner

If you right click a video window you’ll find some basic editing options including:

  • Style: Choose how to frame your video window.
  • Trim: Awkward long pauses at the beginning or end of the slide? Use this tool to adjust the timing of your video clip.
  • Start: Choose when the video recording begins playing in Show mode. Automatically, as part of a click sequence, or when the video window is clicked on.

Screenshot of the drop down menu shown when someone right clicks on a video in PowerPoint

You’ll also see a drop-down menu where you can Format video (adjust the colour, brightness and contrast), Insert captions (to improve accessibility provided you have a corresponding text-based caption file), and save the individual video clip using Save media as.

How to use Cameo in PowerPoint

One of the coolest new features in PowerPoint is Cameo, which lets you introduce a live camera feed directly into the presentation! This allows the presenter to become part of the slide itself when presenting on an online platform, rather than in a distracting box overlaying, and potentially overlapping, with the slide content. Let’s look at how it works.

  1. Head to the Insert tab and click Cameo. This will add a video camera box to your slide. You can then reposition and resize the camera feed. Add a box to every slide you want your video to appear on.
    Screenshot of the Insert tab in PowerPoint with the Cameo option highlighted. Screenshot of PowerPoint showing a Cameo window on a slide.
  2. You can also apply different design effects. The camera shape, border and effects can all be changed so that it fits in with your design style.
    Screenshot of the Camera Format tab in PowerPoint showing the different camera style and effects on offer.
  3. Apply Morph transitions to the live camera feed, allowing you to move its position smoothly around your content
  4. Enter Present mode and deliver your presentation! Your video will pop up in the video placeholders, perfectly positioned throughout your deck.
    A PowerPoint slide with a hexagonal camera window.

PowerPoint Cameo top tips

  • Make sure the video window is large enough for the audience to see, or the whole exercise becomes a bit pointless.
  • Position the window carefully around the rest of your content, making sure you’re not squishing anything.
  • Don’t be afraid to remove the live camera feed on more complex content-heavy slides (i.e. graphs and diagrams). Removing your video will help the audience focus on the slide content. You might find Cameo useful for simply introducing and summarizing your presentation.
  • When using Morph, try not to move the window too far across the slide or too quickly as this will make your audience feel sea sick.
  • Finally, Cameo doesn’t need to be used live; you can record your presentation as described above, incorporating your camera feed into the slide.

For tips on giving presentations online, check out the ULTIMATE guide to virtual presentations. And for advice on recording presentation voiceover have a look at our tips for professional voiceover results.

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Anya Golder

Communication consultant

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Feb 2023

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