3 Tips for Recording PowerPoint Presentations in Video

We know, we know – there’s no shortage of PowerPoint (and Keynote, for that matter) best practice posts out there. But we couldn’t help but notice there’s a shortage of pointers on how to build a PowerPoint presentation that works as well as recorded video as it does live.

For most organizations, PowerPoint is the default document of record – it’s how you manage meetings, make presentations, share updates, summarize projects, and everything else. You want it to work well for you.

And for all it’s bad rap, when used well, PowerPoint is one of the best ways to share an idea – mixing images, text, data, and animation to tell a story that appeals to visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners.

Here at Panopto we think there’s incredible value in recording and sharing well-built PowerPoint presentations. Shared video increases social learning amongst peers, transparency for executives, and institutional knowledge all around.

So let’s talk about how to make your PowerPoint video record at its best.

#1: Go Big for the Small Screen

Panopto viewers can expand a presentation to full screen in our viewer, but other systems may limit your audience to watching on just the standard YouTube 640×385 pixel box. That’s not much bigger than a standard playing card.

For your presentation to reach this audience, you need to go big:

  1. Fonts size 24 or higher. Remember – save custom fonts as a PDF, just to be safe.
  2. Images should fill two-thirds of the screen. Any smaller and details are invisible.
  3. Flat or minimally-styled graphics. Small patterns don’t work in small viewers.

And remember – like any good PowerPoint presentation, one idea per slide.


#2: Contrast is Key

Not every recorder captures HD video for presentation slides. If yours doesn’t, you’ll need to make sure the elements of your deck carry enough contrast to be readable at small size, in non-HD players.

For text, check out Microsoft’s recommendation on using color. We like to keep things simple:


For placing text with images, create your own contrast with a solid-color text box.

Image Contrast

#3: Record Animations, Share Still Slides

Animation is what sets PowerPoint apart from a simple word processor. Used well, PowerPoint animations visually highlight important data, draw attention to key ideas, and generally make dry information entertaining. So don’t lose them when you hit record!

Know your recording software. Some systems only capture still images of your slides. If that’s the case, use a basic screen capture recorder to make sure you get the full effect for your recording. Screen recording is easy, and makes a big difference.

Panopto captures both your still slides – with all their content, to make them easy to search in your video library – and captures your screen to record animations in full. Click below to check it out!


BONUS: Transcribe your Public Videos for SEO Value

Searching for content in a video is notoriously difficult. That’s because indexing videos for search engines is even harder.

Want your video to be found? When you embed your video online, include a transcription of your presentation under the player. This makes it much easier for Google et al to understand what the page is about, and show it for relevant searches.

Transcription is easy. You or a member of your team might be able to take care of it right away, or you can always outsource easily with services like Fiverr or Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. For Panopto users, Panopto offers transcription services for any video as well.

Want to make recording PowerPoint easy?
Sign up for a free 30-Day Trial of Panopto today. Panopto makes enterprise video easy.

Published: November 20, 2015