Narrated PowerPoint

A good PowerPoint slide deck doesn’t stand on its own. The slides aren’t your presentation, you are giving the presentation, the slides are just visual aids. So how do you share a PowerPoint presentation without losing sight of that? Simple! Just add your own voice by recording the slide show. While not fancy creating a narrated PowerPoint is a powerful way to share your content when you can’t do it in person. You can save the final product as a video file or as a standard PowerPoint so when viewers play the slide show they will hear your audio and the slides will advance based on the timings you have set. The process is the same on Windows or Mac.

  • Under the Slide Show tab choose Record Slide Show.
  • You can choose to also record annotations or the laser pointer.
  • Keep it short! You are better off saving multiple 10 minute sessions than one hour long session.
  • While recording, pause for a second on each slide before you start speaking then advance to the next slide and repeat.
  • Be descriptive of what is showing on each slide – try to give context and an explanation of images, charts graphs etc.
  • The slide timing will be automatically saved along with your audio. 

You will see a different screen depending on what version of PowerPoint you are using. If you are using PowerPoint 2016 it will look just like a regular slide show. It will start recording automatically so you can just talk and advance slides as usual.

If you are using PowerPoint 2019 it will look different on Mac and Windows.

Windows PowerPoint 2019

  1. Start recording manually be pressing the record button at the top left of the screen.
  2. Record video using your web cam if you have one. See the controls at the bottom right of the screen.
  3. Use tools such as the pen and highlighter to annotate your slides as you go. These will be saved in your final presentation


Mac OS PowerPoint 2019

  1. The screen view will change to the presentation view which provides useful information.
  2. A thumbnail version of the next slide will appear on the top right.
  3. If you have notes for each slide you will see them on the right.

If you need to go back and make any changes you can clear timings and/or narrations on individual slides and re-record them. You will see a speaker icon on each slide. You can select that icon and delete it. Then choose insert – audio – record audio to re-record audio for that slide.

If you do this make sure you then set it to start playing automatically. With the speak icon selected go to Audio Tools, Playback and make sure to set playback to start Automatically.

Saving the file

When you save the file it will retain the timings and narrations. Just play the slide show from the beginning and it will play through automatically. You may want to save as the file type PowerPoint Slide Show(.ppsx). When students open this file the presentation will play automatically. This way they don’t have to start the slide show manually.

You may choose to save the file as a video rather than a PowerPoint file. This could be useful if you want to create a video quiz on Moodle using Kaltura for example. Be aware this will create a much larger files size which will take longer for you to upload and for your students to download. If you choose to create a video we highly recommend you load it to Kaltura, do NOT load it to Moodle directly. To make a Kaltura videos available in Moodle see this helpful guide.

  1. Click the file menu
  2. Choose Export
  3. Choose Create a Video 
  4. The default settings are probably best but you may choose Internet Quality rather than presentation quality, especially if it is a long recording. This will greatly reduce the overall file size.
  5. Choose create video to save the file. The default mp4 format is recommended.

Creating a transcript

It is a good practice to always provide a transcript for any audio or video content. There are a few ways to accomplish this for PowerPoint files:

  1. If you save your narrated PowerPoint as a video file you can upload it to Kaltura then use Kaltura’s automated captioning feature.
  2. Install the Microsoft PowerPoint Translator plugin. This plugin can create real time captions which can then be saved as a text file. This text file can’t be connected to the presentation but can be shared with students other ways so they can follow along. Make sure you either add a note to the text file when you switch slides or when recording your presentation say when you are moving form slide to slide to make it easier for students reading the transcript to follow the presentation.
  3. Automatic transcriptions are never 100% accurate so make sure you edit it in a text editor to make any corrections.

If you have any questions contact your Instructional Technologist or another member of the RIT Team.