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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Inserting Video in PowerPoint (part 1) - The Basics

Just like with audio clips, there are many reasons why you shouldn't use video clips in your PowerPoint presentations. If you have a short video that will add to your message and help your audience connect with your point better, then you can add the video to your presentation. But don't let me catch you trying to insert just anything or I'll be very cross. OK? OK, then.

The first step is the click on the "Insert" tab (when using PowerPoint 2007 or later, otherwise click on the "Insert" menu). Then click on the "Movie" button and select either "Movie from File..." or "Movie from Clip Organizer..."

If you choose the "Clip Organizer" you won't really find movies, per se, rather you'll see moving images. For example you might find a running cartoon image that will cycle through a set of motions endlessly during your presentation. Don't use these . . . ever. These are cute but pointless and annoying. They will do more to distract from what you're trying to say than to help your point. Do not use these clips.

Choosing a movie file means you point to a location on your computer where a movie is located and then PowerPoint uses its built in media player software (basically Windows Media Player) to play the video clip you selected. Once you get the video into PowerPoint you want to choose how it will play in the presentation. As soon as the file is inserted you are presented with the choice to have the video play automatically or when it's clicked. Automatic means when you get to that slide in the presentation, versus getting to that slide and needing to click again. Slides are cheap, just use a separate slide for the video clip and use the automatic setting.

Then you can see a few check boxes where you can select whether the movie will be full screen when it play or if it will loop continuously (this might be helpful for announcements or something, but you shouldn't do this during your sermon). One of the most important things you can see in the "Movie Tools" tab is the "Preview" button all the way to the left. It allows you to watch the movie and see how it will play in your presentation and on your computer. Hopefully everything will go smoothly and the movie clip will play perfectly.

But if it doesn't there is help to be had . . . tomorrow.

How do you use video clips in your sermons?

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