Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Self-Running PowerPointTM Presentations –– Part 1

Have you every wanted to be in two places at once? Now you can with self-running PowerPointTM presentations (SRPP). Minimal computer skills and time are required to record your voice into a presentation and create a PowerPointTM show that can run on any computer. This article describes the potential applications and process for developing SRPP.

The potential applications for SRPP are limitless. I have provided a few examples; use your imagination to come up with more.

Interns: An orientation presentation would introduce interns to the institution/work area. Details on assessment forms, specific wards, names and photos of key employees, etc. could be included. This would significantly reduce the time commitment for preceptordietitians to orient students.

Clients: If you find that you repeat the same information to each client, make a presentation with the repetitive information, and spend more time helping clients integrate the information into their daily lives.

Staff: Getting the staff together for a training session can be a challenge – a SRPP can be watched at one or more convenient times.

Continuing Education: The Art & Science of Food Hypersensitivity – Online Training for Dietitians is an example of how to use SRPP in continuing education. See an example of using this approach at

Meetings: If you can’t attend a meeting to present your idea, you can connect with the group by telephone and send an SRPP for the group to watch.

Proposals: A dynamic and creative SRPP can get your ideas across more persuasively than a written document.

Sharing Your Presentation

There are two options for sharing your presentation, either keep the presentation as a PowerPointTM presentation file, and after it is opened, choose slide show view, or save the presentation as a PowerPointTM Show and the presentation will start playing as soon as the file is opened.

If the destination computer does not have the PowerPointTM program installed, a PowerPointTM viewer can be downloaded from the MicrosoftTM website. Recording audio into a presentation greatly increases the file size, making it difficult to e-mail.

SRPPs can be transferred to another computer using a file transfer service, also known as an FTS. There are many services available on the Internet (e.g., YouSendItTM). Generally, files that are under 100MB (approximately 20 minutes of SRPP) can be sent without a charge, but larger files or advanced options require a fee. The process is simple – you upload the file to the Internet and send the recipient the link so they can download the file to their computer. Alternatively, the SRPP can be copied to a disk, memory stick or external hard drive and physically transferred to the destination computer.

Many organizations record live presentations with a video camera for educational purposes. I find creating a SRPP is much more effective because the presenter can read from notes to get the exact wording and animation timing, something that is difficult to achieve with a live presentation. Another advantage is that it is very easy to update one slide with a SRPP.

Developing a SRPP
1. Create your PowerPointTM presentation.
2. Attach a microphone to the computer.
3. From the Slide Show Menu, choose Record Narration. From that dialogue box, click on name and select the quality of recording. ’CD’ is the best quality, but creates the largest file size.
4. Advance your slides and talk into the microphone. When you are ready to stop, press Esc and Save.
5. You can start again from any slide, and individual slides can be re-recorded.
6. When the presentation is in ‘slide show view’, the slides will automatically advance with the presenter’s voice. Note: If the
PowerPointTM file is used for a live presentation, delete the audio (in the custom animations box) and in the Slide Show – Set up Slide Show choose advance slides manually. Practice to make sure the settings are correct or you may have a nasty surprise!
7. Animations will be recorded, but actions during the presentation (e.g., mouse movements or writing with the pen) will not.

Part 2 of this topic in the next issue of Practice will be about techniques to convert a SRPP to video and to upload to the Internet.


Wendy Busse, RD, MSc
Red Deer, AB
T: (403) 986-5267


Wendy Busse said...

I will be writing an article about converting SRPP into videos for the next Practice.

Gloria Tsang said...

Great tips, Wendy!

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