Creating Impressive PowerPoint Presentations
Using Multimedia Content
Bored of making the same kind of presentations
in the conference room? Now is the time to spiff them
up! Embedding audio and video clips into ordinary
PowerPoint presentations can make them interesting
and visually compelling. PowerPoint gives you the
option of adding a lot of file formats-still pictures,
movie files, music files and even flash animation.
But before you get down to doing this, you must know
that PowerPoint uses Windows system services to take
care of the entire multimedia-heaving job. You will
need both video and audio software and hardware (including
a microphone) if you wish to record sound. To edit
some of these files, you'll need basic video editing
applications. Note that the most important thing you
need here is Codecs. Codecs are used to compress media
files during file creation and decompress them during
playback. Codecs are essential for rendering media
files, especially video files, small enough to be
stored on a hard drive. However, the codec used to
compress a specific file must also be available to
decompress the file during playback. If the necessary
codec is not installed on the computer opening the
file, the file cannot be accessed. You can either
use K-Lite Mega Codec pack or Nimo's Codec pack to
plug your system with codecs.
Considering the presentation into which
you want to insert multimedia files is ready, let's
dive into the necessary steps listed in this tutorial.
This is as simple as it sounds.
To insert video:
First navigate to the slide where
you want the video inserted in a new or existing
Choose "Insert | Movies &
Sounds | Movie from File" and choose the required
PowerPoint prompts you if you want
the movie to play automatically or only when clicked-choose
the option you desire. You can tweak your choice
later if you want by clicking upon the Custom Animation
Video with play controller
PowerPoint also gives you an option
to insert video objects within a slide. This basically
gives you total control over your slides. With the
help of the video controller; you can control the
video in the slide show while PowerPoint is in the
slide show mode. Using the play control option, you
can stop, pause and play the video similar to watching
a movie on your media player.
Open PowerPoint and navigate to
the slide where you want your video to be inserted.
Choose "Insert | Object."
In the "Insert Object"
dialog box, select the "Create from file"
radio button and browse to the file you want to
view in the presentation.
Right-click on the file icon that
comes up and click on "Custom Animation",
and a side taskpane will open up. Here you can set
options like "Auto
Rewind" and add different effects
to make your presentation look as cool as you want.
Click anywhere outside the video
object and reposition and resize the video as per
Normally, video objects play when clicked-if
you want the video to play immediately with the slide:
Select the video and choose "Slide
Show Custom Animation". This will activate
the Custom Animation taskpane.
With the video object still selected,
choose the "Add Effect | Object Actions Play"
Change the default Start value
from "On Click" to "After Previous".
To watch videos in the full screen mode in PowerPoint:
In the Custom Animation taskpane,
click on the file you want to play, and it shows
as a drop down list; here click on effect options.
A new window will open up; now click
on the "Movie setting" tab and select
the radio button zoom to full screen.
You'll also find other options like
looping the movie or rewinding it after playing within
this dialog box.
Inserting video play lists
You can create a play list of your videos
in Windows Media Player and play the entire sequence
of videos in PowerPoint-an invaluable idea if you
want to play a series of videos within a presentation
seamlessly and don't have the time to get the videos
rendered together with the help of a video editing
- Open Windows Media Player and create a play list
consisting of your videos. Create a play list containing
both videos and sounds. Save the play list as a Windows
Media Play list file (*.WPL)
- Open PowerPoint and open the presentation into which
you want to insert the play list Go to the slide where
you want to begin playing the sounds and choose "Insert
| Movies and Sounds Movie from File".
- Navigate to the folder where you have
saved the play list (*.WPL) file.
- Select the play list and click on "OK".
You will get a prompt asking whether you want the
sound to start automatically or after clicking upon
it. Choose your option accordingly.
- Right click on the icon that is visible on the slide
and click on the "Custom Animation" option.
In the Custom Animation taskpane, click on the play
list and choose "Effects" from the drop
- To control the number of videos playing on a particular
slide, go to the "Stop playing group" option
and specify the number of slides you want the play
list to continue playing. If you want all the videos
to play on a single slide, choose the "Stop playing
after current slide" option.
Inserting flash animation (.SWF)
Your presentation will be one of its
kinds with Flash animation. Macromedia Flash is a
popular animation format with plenty of files freely
available on the Internet. PowerPoint supports Flash
(SwF is the Shockwave file format used by Flash),
which can be either linked or embedded into your presentation.
Applications like Macromedia's Captivate, which creates
flash movies of running software, lets you record
what you wish to from your screen and use it as an
animation in your presentation.
Flash (SwF) in PowerPoint
Here are a few steps to help you use
Flash animation in your presentation.
Open PowerPoint and in the Normal
View, open the slide in which you
want to play the Flash animation.
Click on "Toolbars" on
the "View" menu, and then click on "Control
- Click on "More Controls" and scroll down
to search for "Shockwave Flash Object",
and click on it.
- A rectangle will open up on the slide; drag the
pointer to stretch the rectangle and then drag and
drop the Shockwave Flash Object into it.
- You can resize the object by dragging the sizing
handles. If you want the movie to cover the entire
slide, size the rectangle to reach the edges of the
- Right click on the Shockwave Flash Object and then
click on "Properties".
- On the "Alphabetic" tab, click on the
- In the blank cell next to "Movie", type
the Flash file's full drive path including the file
name (for example, C\:My Documents\Test.swf).
- In the "Properties" dialog box, set the
options to play the animation.
- To play the file automatically when the slide is
displayed, set the "Playing property" to
- If the Flash file has a "Start/Rewind"
button, set "Playing" to "False".
- To play the file only once, in the "Loop property",
- If you want to distribute your presentation through
a CD or via e-mail, then in the "Embed Movie
property", select "True".
NOTE: The Shockwave Flash Object control
must be installed on any computer that runs the presentation.
To view the animation, select "Slide
Show". Tweak the placement and size of the embedded
animation on the slide. You can do a lot of things
here like overlaying titles or other text on the movie
by adding a text box on top of the object control.
The text is displayed when you play the movie, and
then disappears in the second frame.
These snazzy video options will surely
give your mundane presentations an extra edge, making
them your colleagues' envy and your pride.
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