Okay, big disclaimer. 📣
If you're looking for a guide on saving a PowerPoint presentation (.ppt) into a windows media video format (.wmv) in Microsoft Office, this guide isn't for you.
For that, we can refer you to a fantastic detailed article on the topic on Microsoft's website.
But since you stuck around, maybe we can interest you in a guide to converting PowerPoint presentations into videos that are
- created by AI
Intrigued? Good. Keep reading to learn how to turn plain text-based PowerPoint presentations into videos.
Here's what you'll learn:
- Why video presentations are the new standard
- How to convert PowerPoint to video with AI
- Tips & Tricks on sprucing up your presentation
If you're a visual learner, let our in-house Learning Expert Kevin guide you through the process in a video format:
Let's dive in!
Why you should convert a PowerPoint to a video format
So PowerPoint-style presentations have been around for a while (since 1987, to be exact).
And back in the day, it was a fantastic addition to spoken presentations. It gave the speaker and the listeners a visual guide to accompany the speech and engage the audience.
Enter 2010s and the era of Prezi. Prezi came in to revolutionize the classic PowerPoint presentation. Now you could use motion and interactivity to create dynamic zooming presentations to wow your audience.
Now enter the 2020s, the era of YouTube, social media, TikTok, and the like, and video is king.
Video is more engaging
78% of people watch online videos every week, and that number is only going to be growing.
And it's easy to understand why - it's easier to watch and listen to a video than to read a bunch of text. (Are you still reading this, by the way? 🥺)
So much so, that according to a recent study, people retain 95% of the information presented through video vs only 10% through text.
In our minds, it just makes sense to use a video format for presentations as well.
After all, we want them to be engaging, right?
Video is more memorable
Video helps people remember information better because it's presented both through visuals and audio.
Besides, we can use a few techniques, like adding animations and different "camera" angles to grab the viewers' attention.
Video is more shareable
The argument here is pretty straightforward.
You can share video by sending a link and view the video on any device.
For a PowerPoint presentation, you most likely need special software, a license, or an online tool to open and view it.
Now that we've (hopefully) convinced you of the powers of video vs PowerPoint, let's see how you can use those powers to convert PowerPoint to video!
How to convert PowerPoint to video using Synthesia
Okay, so if you're really pressed on time and just want to save your presentation as a video file, you can do that with a simple conversion process.
Using a PowerPoint to video converter, import your PowerPoint file in a .ppt or .pptx format by clicking on... yup, you guessed it, 'Import PowerPoint'.
Drag and drop or upload your file there and the PowerPoint will be converted to a video background. Add an avatar and some text for narrations, and you're done.
After the conversion process is complete, you can download the video file in a Full HD MP4 file format.
But we have a better solution for you. That is if you want to create video presentations that really capture your audience's attention.
Here's a (non-basic) guide to creating video presentations.
Step 1: Start with a template or from scratch
If you are a power user of PowerPoint, you likely have a few favorite themes you use to get started with a presentation.
Well, you can use the same approach with Synthesia by using video templates.
We have video presentation templates for all kinds of scenarios: corporate updates, HR onboarding presentations, board meeting slides, or simple colored ones.
To get started with a template, choose one of the 3 options:
1. In your STUDIO dashboard, click on 'Templates' on the left-hand side, choose one and select 'Create video'
2. In your video canvas, click 'Templates' on the right-hand-side, pick out the one you like, and add all slides or individual ones
3. In your dashboard, preview and choose templates directly from the top bar on the screen
Alternatively, start with a blank canvas and transform your PowerPoint presentation into anything you want.
In your STUDIO dashboard, select 'Create video' on the top right-hand side to get started.
Step 2: Condense information into a video script
Heavy walls of text don't convert well to video.
We expect a video to move quickly, and a long presentation narration is anything but that.
Instead of pasting a whole block of text into a video maker, you want to break up the information into less chunky bits and create a video script.
We won't go over too many details on how to do that. Instead, you can watch our video lesson on chunking information.
Step 3: Add narration
To achieve professional video quality, make sure that the audio portion matches the quality of the video itself.
You can, of course, use recorded narrations of your own voice. But most of us aren't too comfortable doing that (who doesn't cringe when hearing their own voice 😅) or simply don't have good equipment to record audio.
To add narrations in Synthesia STUDIO, you simply need to paste in your video script slide by slide into the script box and choose the voice you like.
That's it, really.
Our text-to-speech (TTS) engine will narrate the video based on your script.
Now, AI narrations aren't always perfect (although it's getting there), but you can adjust the pronunciation using Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML).
Step 4: Add visuals
Now that we have the audio and narration sorted, time to make the presentation stand out with animations, images, videos, shapes, on-screen text, and AI avatars.
In this step, we'll show you where to find them in Synthesia STUDIO and how to add and edit them to your presentation, but keep reading to learn how to enhance those visuals with 3 tips and tricks.
To add an AI avatar click 'Avatar' on the right-hand side of the video canvas and choose one you like. Switch between the full-body view, circle view, or voice only.
To add text, click on 'Text' and choose between Title, Subtitle, or Body Text.
To find, add or upload images, you can either go to 'Images' and add one as a standalone element, or go to 'Background' -> 'Images' to use one as a background.
To use a video background, go to 'Background' -> 'Videos'. There, you can find stock videos, upload your own or record your screen.
You are free to format, style, and animate virtually any elements, just like you would add PowerPoint transitions and effects.
Step 5: Generate your video
Now that you're done converting PowerPoint presentations into videos, it's time to generate and export them.
To generate the video, click on 'Generate video'. Here you can edit the Title and Description of the video and include captions if needed.
Once the video is created, you have a few options:
- download the video in a FULL HD 1080p MP4 file format
- save captions only - choose 'Export captions'
- duplicate the entire presentation to create a new one
- create a template to scale your video creation process
- share the video link
- share videos directly to social media
- or copy the embed code
3 Tips to enhance content when moving from PowerPoint to video
If you follow the above steps, the results you'll get are already going to be better than a simple PowerPoint.
But armed with the tricks below, you can transform your presentation from good to great.
Tip #1: Frame and punch-in technique for avatars
An AI avatar is a great way to kick off the video by instantly grabbing the viewers' attention. The goal of using an AI avatar/presenter is to enhance the delivery of the content.
If you're using avatars in Synthesia STUDIO, most of them come in 2 camera angles - a headshot and a full-body view.
This comes in handy for what we call the frame and punch-in technique. Using this technique, you can achieve a professional two-camera zooming shot (only without actual cameras).
Start the first slide with a wider full-body avatar view and add a background image.
In the next slide, use a close-up headshot avatar angle and zoom in on the background image.
This effect will add movement to your presentation and emphasize the information presented.
It's a much more engaging way to present information than a simple audio narration over a converted presentation.
See our video lesson on avatar angles for more detail.
Tip #2: Use movement and animation
This tip uses the same principle of movement as a way to grab and hold on to the viewers' attention and add emphasis to the information.
Only this time it applies to adding movements to otherwise static elements, like text boxes, shapes, and images.
Here's how it's done in STUDIO.
To animate any element in the video canvas, click on it to select it, then click on the 'Animate' tab on the right-hand side.
In the 'Animate' tab, choose the Entry and Exit animation you would like to use. Then, you can choose the duration and delay of the animation in seconds.
To set the timing of the animation and sync it with the narration, click on the word in the dialog box where you want the animation to appear.
On the top right-hand side of the dialog box, you will see the approximate timing of the word. Add the same timing to the 'Delay' field in the 'Animate' tab.
Make sure to edit the color, shadow, opacity, and size of the shapes to make them stand out.
Bonus: Highlight the shapes and text boxes as they're being narrated using borders and entry/exit animations to emphasize the text.
Tip #3: Spice it up by adding variety
They say variety is the spice of life, but in this case, variety is essential for video engagement.
Variety in this case is different techniques we can use to create the visual language of matching what your script is saying to what you're showing on the screen.
Slapping on an AI avatar or simple narration on top of your PowerPoint presentation isn't going to do anyone any favors. Your audience is simply going to be bored by the 3rd slide.
That's why we advocate for everyone to convert PowerPoint to video with engagement in mind. Spend a little more time on the video creation process instead of using a .ppt to video file converter, and we guarantee you will be happier with the results.
So how do we add variety to a PowerPoint video?
By utilizing 3 on-screen techniques for visualizing information:
1. Talking head
The first way you can present information in a video format is by using an actor or an AI avatar to act as a presenter and narrator.
Using real actors is pricy and time-consuming and, frankly, not worth it for a simple PowerPoint presentation.
You can use digital humans to do the job (almost) just as well. 😉
2. Text on screen with narration
But even a human or near-human face can't keep an audience's interest forever.
That's where we introduce the second way to visualize information: text on screen with narration.
If you have information that you want your viewers to remember, write it on the slide!
Condense it into essential info only first (bullet points work well for that), and time the appearance of the text with the narration.
See our video lesson on timing animations with text.
3. Stock footage
Visualize a concept by using stock footage that fits the topic of the narration. Use video or photos to illustrate your point.
If you have branded footage that's relevant - great, use it.
If you don't have any footage of your own - don't worry.
You can access thousands of images and videos in Synthesia STUDIO with our Shutterstock integration.
Go to either the 'Images' or 'Background' tabs and type a keyword in the search bar to find a relevant video or image.
Bonus tip #4: Don't use avatars on slides with data
As mentioned earlier, the goal of the avatar is to enhance the delivery of the information being presented.
Sometimes, however, a presenter can distract from the information, because the viewer has to divide their attention between the presenter and the slide.
One example where you shouldn't use a presenter is any data visualization: graphs, charts, tables, and the like.
Instead, feature only the voiceover narration for those slides.
To do that in STUDIO, select the data slide, click on 'Avatar' on the right-hand side and select the 'Voice only' option at the bottom.
We're not in the early 2000s anymore and video is becoming the new norm. While converting PowerPoint presentations to high-quality engaging videos isn't always a straightforward approach, spending a little more time on this always pays off.
So if you'd like to start making better presentations with a little help from AI, check out Synthesia STUDIO and get started in minutes.