Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Assignment | Pre-Gothic Humanities Presentation (Truax): Recording Your Presentation

HUMA 1301 | Prof. K. Truax | Fall 2020

Presentation Tools: Highlights for Video Creation

Screenshots below are based on Office 365's PowerPoint installed to a Windows 10 laptop. You can use PowerPoint/Office 365 in the browser, but it looks like you can't record audio or export as video without the desktop version.

Remember! You can get Office 365 for free, which you can install to a computer, as a Lone Star student.


Organization Strategy: Linear

A > B > C > D, one slide after another (possibly with section breaks as needed)

Record Slide Show

You can record voice and/or video narration along with your slides by going to the Slide Show menu, then clicking Record Slide Show in the Set Up cluster.

PowerPoint tool bar opened to "Slide Show" with the button "Record Slide Show" highlighted.

While Recording

While you record narration, you'll have your slides front and center to navigate through, which is pretty normal. To the bottom-right corner are icons to enable or disable your microphone and webcam. If you want to do voice only, turn off the webcam. If you leave it on, you'll see yourself included in a little picture-in-picture square on your slide! If you wrote down notes for each slide about what you wanted to say, you can take a peek at those by clicking on "Notes" at the top-center of the screen.

Start or stop your recording using the buttons in the upper-left. If you need to take a break, you can pause the recording. Replay to hear how you sounded for that slide, and if you need to, you can re-record.

You can keep an eye on time to the bottom-left, as well was grab a virtual pen if you want to draw on your slide.

PowerPoint recording mode with features noted. In top-left corner are the buttons to start/stop and pause the recording. Top-center you can expand your notes. Bottom left, see your time. Bottom right corner, choose whether your webcam is active or not for a picture-in-picture effect.

Export As Video

Save your PowerPoint with your narration as a video by going to File > Export > Create a Video. The default options should be sufficient, but double check before clicking "Create Video." This will create an mp4 you can submit to the dropbox! Save your presentation as just a presentation (.pptx), too, just as back up, though.

PowerPoint - File: Export as Video. It should default to using your recorded times and narration, with an option to set a timing for slides without any narration. Save video to mp4.

Basic Prezi is free to use, and you can choose to upload a PowerPoint presentation (to give yourself a headstart in building a Prezi), or you can start from scratch if you're already comfortable with using it.

Prezi Video requires the  Google Chrome browser icon Chrome browser!


Organization Strategy: Hierarchical

A > A1, A2, A3 > B > B1, B2, B3

Prezi can actually physically drill in deeper as you get into more detailed information, and it can also physically pull back for the literal big picture take.

Choose Video or Voice Only

After you've completed your Prezi and you're ready to record, click the "Create a Video" option in the upper right (not Present). The video option is pretty cool, but if only want to narrate your slides, choose the voice only option.

Prezi Video firsts asks you to choose whether you want to do video or voice only.

Start Recording

Super minimalist! Just you and your slides. Click the red button to start recording. It gives you a countdown from 3 to ready yourself.

The very minimalistic recording screen just has a red botton at the center-bottom of your presentation.

Limited Editing

You'll need to do your presentation in one take. When you finish and hit "done recording" you'll be presented with some very few editing choices. You can trim a bit off the very start or end of your video (like where you were maybe still warming up your voice or where you were looking for the 'finish' button), but you can't cut out anything from the middle, and you can't record slide-by-slide -- so if you fumble half-way through, you'll be starting over.

When you finish recording, Prezi lets you playback your recording,  trim the start or end a little, or discard everything and start over.

Share Link to Submit

You can turn in your Prezi by copying the link. You won't be able to download a copy unless you subscribe to the "Plus" plan, which isn't really necessary.

Share your Prezi video by clicking the "copy link" button. Make sure your video is either public or unlisted.

If you have access to video editing software and want to be fancy, you can also just build a video from scratch! It's easier than it looks, especially if you're not trying to be cinematic in your approach. It does take a little bit more planning and effort, though, since you don't have even the foundation of slides the way PowerPoint and Prezi do.

Organization Strategy: Linear

A > B > C > D, one element after the other -- but with the possibility to fading one thing into another or layering items.

Some free video tool options
Windows Photo (included with Windows 10)

With Windows 10, Microsoft discontinued their Movie Maker tool, but there is a video function inside their Photos program. It's very simplistic, however, but it has some nice photo-motion effects.

Recommended use: arrange graphics and text inside PowerPoint, save presentation as images, import images to Photos, and finalize your video there.

iMovie (free for macOS and iOS)

iMovie is Apple's movie maker and editor. It can get a little fancier with effects, but like most movie makers, hinges around the idea of importing media (like photos you want to use) and then building from there.

Get iMovie.

OpenShot (free, open source software for Windows, Mac, Linux)

This one is free, robust, and has a large enough user community that you can easily Google for tutorials and other help. Drag-and-drop content into the timeline to build your movie, or insert text.

Drawback: Can't record voiceover narration inside the program. You'd need to get something like Audacity (or look for a sound recorder that came with your computer) to create the narration to import into OpenShot.

Get OpenShot.

You can also look around for free screencasting software, like Screencast-o-matic; some, like SnagIt, have free trials you could take advantage of (but make sure you'll be able to actually save what you create, and in a useful format like mp4! Sometimes software trials keep you from actually making something useful as a way of forcing you to buy).

Presentation Best Practices

Remember: your visuals are there to support what you're saying, but you are still the presenter. Keep your text minimal and your visuals impactful.

  • In PowerPoint, keep your font size between 28-32. Similar rule of thumb goes for other formats.
  • Writing a script is helpful! If you'd rather ad lib, do a practice run a couple times before you record. You'll be amazed at what you think to add in the moment that can throw you off (or what important thing you realize you totally forgot to mention)!
  • Make sure images are high resolution and clear. Provide attribution for where you got them.

Where Can I Find Images?

Presumably, wherever you get a representation of your cultural item will have representations of it.

For additional images (or decorative icons) as needed, try out: