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April 8, 2021

Create a Video Presentation When You Can’t Present Live

You have a presentation coming up. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you weren’t able to give the presentation in a live format (either in person or virtual)? Actually, it is possible. Create a video presentation.

For instance, what if you tripped and broke your ankle the day before and had to be on bed rest for a couple of days? What if the pain medications made you a bit loopy or lethargic or easily lose focus?

Usually this means the presentation has to be rescheduled or most likely cancelled. In this post, I will highlight 3 ways you can create a video presentation so it can be given without you.

One caveat though and this applies to all video-only options. A major part of many presentations is having a Q&A either throughout the presentation or at the end. When you create a video presentation this, of course, eliminates that aspect of a presentation.

Export Your Slide Deck as a Video Presentation

Today, most presentation software has the ability to convert slides into a video. Especially if you use Keynote (Mac) or PowerPoint (Windows/Mac), the process isn't hard. It a quick way without any fancy equipment or high-end video editing software. Also, it is a good option if you don’t have a camera or prefer not to record yourself on camera.

Windows PowerPoint - Exporting as Video

You have two options to create a video presentation. One, create the video without sound. Two, do voice over narration on your slide deck before converting to video.

For a presentation, I don’t recommend you create a video without sound. If you have a well-designed slide deck, everyone will get the highlights. The drawback is that they lose out on the deeper content. If your slide deck is text heavy (not good design by the way, see my posts on slide-design), then it would be better to convert the slide deck to a pdf document.

Once the slide deck is done, create a video presentation by saving or exporting as a movie. The software will convert it to either a .mov or .mp4 (recommended) file. This file can be uploaded to YouTube, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc. Your slide transitions and animations are in the video. This means there is minimal editing needed.

Mac PowerPoint - Exporting as Video

Create a Recorded (Talking Head) Video Presentation

For many of us, we’ve had plenty of experience attending online meetings and presentations using platforms like Zoom and Google Meet. So, it isn’t too much of a stretch to create a video presentation by pre-recording.

In a pinch, our smartphones and tablets make it easy to record, edit, and upload to YouTube or share on other platforms. Online meeting platforms make it easy to record yourself “presenting” and then share as needed.

create a video presentation

If you are new to creating a video presenation in this way, you will want to practice before recording a final version. It is easy to come off robotic and flat on video. If you’ve prepared well enough in advance, a couple of trial runs will help you find the right energy level.

If you're concerned about staying on track, using a portable teleprompter can help. This, of course, requires a purchase of extra gear like a tripod. They can also be a bit expensive. If you  absolutely need this but can't afford it, check out YouTube. There are plenty of videos showing how to make your own teleprompter.

Use an AI (Artificial Intelligence) Video Converter

Over the last few years, several AI video converter platforms have cropped up. Most platforms have the ability to upload text and the AI converts it into an image rich, captioned video. It’s pretty incredible to see the process from beginning to end.

Even though most people use these platforms for social media videos, there’s no rule that says you can’t create a video presentation using this method. All you need is your presentation outline or script.

Most of the top platforms offer a free and paid version. To find one that best fits your needs, you will need to do a bit of research on the features each offers. Here is a list of four platforms I recommend. Their cloud-based interfaces are intuitive and make it easy to get started.

Wrap Up

Planning and preparing for a presentation can be a bit stressful. And we often don’t consider contingency plans if something prevents us from presenting. Fortunately, current software makes it is quite easy to “present” even if we physically can’t be there.

There are three ways you can create a video presention: export your slide deck, pre-recorded (talking head), and an AI (artificial intelligence) converter. With multiple options you should be able to find a solution that works for you.

In the comments below, share your thoughts and experiences related to creating a presentation video or contingency plans.

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Jennifer Sharkey is a presentation consultant with 20+ years of experience public speaking and helping others. She draws from her experience as an associate professor, academic librarian, and coach to help new, holistic female coaches master virtual presentations and gain more clients. Her unique immersive program helps her students gain confidence, present engaging content, and tame the tech in 8 weeks (or less).

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