One would think Powerpoint slideshow presentations are easily transformed into video. You can set each slide to run for a set time, add transition effects, and then run it like a video presentation on your computer. Seems like a no-brainer right? It's not. (Image source Alex Litvin on Unsplash)
Apparently exporting a presentation as a video wasn't important until 2010. I have the 2007 version. So making last week's review was difficult, to say the least.
Are We Learning Something?
If you freelance, at some point you'll want to do video. Maybe not every day, maybe not even as a regular habit, but you'll eventually find yourself in a position where a video makes too much sense to ignore. And maybe you don't have a great on-camera personality, so you want to do it slideshow style. That's when this article will be invaluable to you.
You'll probably think Powerpoint will do the job. And it does- if you have a screen capture program and don't mind editing the capture controls out afterward. Or if you have a version after 2010. But if, like me, you didn't see the point in getting the latest version of the entire Office suite just for one simple function, you may want to know your options.
What NOT To Try
When Microsoft fails me, I always look to the open source communities first. OpenOffice has been a good friend of mine for many years, and there's usually user-made extensions developed for common functions. Apparently video-ifiying a presentation didn't make the list. There was an extension available, but it didn't work (probably hasn't been updated in forever). Even exporting as a .swf file in LibreOffice didn't work.
Something that sounds so simple is actually harder than just using my freaking phone. Personality notwithstanding, my phone just doesn't have the capacity to take a decent video. Besides, by the time I tried all this the presentation was already made. I only needed some way to export it as a video file of some kind.
Enter The Solution
And then I found ActivePresenter. The program works just like any other presentation software, but there's more features - some you may not even know you wanted. There's this neat function of turning the presentation into a quiz, adding interactive buttons and exporting to HTML5. There's a list of all the different features here.
Full disclosure: after using ActivePresenter, I immediately signed up for their affiliate program. This is definitely a piece of software I can get behind, as it's so intuitive and easy to use while also providing the functions you'd expect a presentation program to have in 2018. Best part is, there's a free version you can use to test it out and compare for yourself.
I recognize maybe it's not the right software for you, and maybe you'd rather go with the latest Office suite or Camtasia (which I plan to try out soon as well). That's ok, I don't expect to make a living on being an ActivePresenter affiliate or anything. I would urge you, though, to try it first. There's no obligations (they don't even ask for your email), and no risk. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Simple as that.
Do you use slideshow presentation software in your freelancing endeavors? Let me know if you've found one I haven't mentioned here, I'd love to test whether it holds up to ActivePresenter. Share your experiences with slideshow-style videos below, on Facebook or Twitter.
And I'll see you tomorrow at 9a for the weekly review!
As I begin this anew, I know only one thing: that I know nothing. Learn with me, and together we will figure this out.
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