Many of us give talks at conferences and seminars, but these presentations are only seen once by a limited audience. What if you could record your presentations so that other people can easily access and view them? Having a recorded presentation (aka screencast) allows you to post it as a video on your website or send it to someone interested in your topic.
In the following tutorial, I show how to create a video of a slide presentation in which your voice is recorded along with a full-screen image of your slides. You will need three items to make a high quality recording of a presentation:
1. A slideshow created with PowerPoint or a similar application. Compile your presentation as you normally would for a talk and write out the script so that you can deliver your talk smoothly. You may need to practice beforehand so that it does not sound like you are reading.
2. Some type of screen capture software such as Quicktime Pro (Mac), Screenflow (Mac), or Camtasia Studio (PC or Mac) to record your computer screen, your voice, and your image (if you wish). In my tutorial, I will be using Screenflow, which is for the Mac, but the principle is the same for all these applications. These all record whatever is visible on your computer screen along with any audio. You can also record your own image with the built-in camera on your computer. Your image then can be inserted into a picture-in-picture window within your presentation so that the viewer sees you along with your slides.
3. A decent microphone to record the audio. The built-in microphones on most computers are not that good. The audio quality of your presentation will be greatly improved if you use a good external microphone (see previous post).
You also need a way to share your presentation once you’ve finished. The simplest way is to upload your finished file to a video-sharing site such as YouTube or Vimeo (see this post that explains what to consider in making this decision). If you are concerned about copyright, then be sure to include a watermark on your video file (or on your slides). Once published, you can take the embed code for your video and insert it into your website or send the link to someone (instead of the file, which likely will be too large to email).
This is a great way to create a permanent record of your oral presentations. You can also create lessons to augment a course you are teaching or record class lectures for students to review as many times as they wish. There are lots of possibilities. Virtually anything that you can show on your computer screen can be captured this way and published as a video.
Be sure to select the HD version and full-screen for best viewing (direct link):
Are you interested in learning more techniques like this? If so, check out The Scientist Videographer eBook, which is an electronic guidebook packed with information, tips, and tutorials and designed for the 21st century scientist, teacher, and student. Available in iTunes Store (fully interactive version for iPad, iPhone, & Mac), Smashwords (text version), and Amazon Kindle (text version).