Once you’ve created a PowerPoint presentation, it’s time to think about how you will present it. PowerPoint has a few options for making online presentations, but they deal with just a few scenarios. Fortunately, several free third-party products are available to help you achieve the results you’re looking for.
PowerPoint 2010’s Broadcast feature will do the job if you’re presenting to an online audience (up to 50 people) watching in a Web browser during a real-time conference call. They won’t even need to have their own copy of PowerPoint. But if the people to whom you’re pitching want to view the presentation offline at their leisure, or if you have to set up the presentation so that any number of people can view the slideshow at any time, you’ll need something else. I’ll show you several methods of accomplishing each of these goals.
Broadcast a Presentation in Real Time
If you want to present online in real time, simply use PowerPoint 2010’s built-in Broadcast tool. (Note that you need a Microsoft Live ID to use this feature.) Once you’ve built the presentation, click File in the top menu bar and then choose Save & Send. Next, select Broadcast Slide Show (in the middle column of options) and then click the Broadcast Slide Show button (it’s the only button in the third column). When the Broadcast Slide Show dialog box appears, click Start Broadcast. If you’re not already signed in to your Microsoft Live account, you’ll see a prompt to sign in. At this point, you need to wait while your presentation uploads to the broadcast service.
Once the upload is complete, you’ll see a dialog box containing a link that your viewers can use to open the slideshow on their own machines. Click Copy Link to put the link on your clipboard, or click Send in Email to distribute it that way (the latter link, however, defaults to opening Outlook, which might not be suitable if you use browser-based email).
You must wait until everyone is prepared for the meeting before you start the presentation. When the audience is ready, click the Start Slide Show button in the Broadcast Slide Show dialog box. The slideshow will display on your screen and on your audience members' screens simultaneously, and you can work through the slideshow one slide at a time knowing that everyone’s screens will be in sync. The broadcast stream will not carry audio, so don’t bother adding a soundtrack or sound effects to your presentation.
When the presentation is finished, click the End Broadcast button to stop the broadcast and disconnect all viewers from the slideshow (this won’t, of course, disconnect them from the independent conference call).
Deliver a Presentation as a Video
If you’d like to convert your slideshow into a video presentation, PowerPoint 2010 can encode it to a .wmv file. Click File > Save & Send, and then select Create a Video (in the middle column). In the right column, you’ll see two sets of drop-down menus with options for encoding the video. Click the Computer & HD Displays button to reveal two additional options: Internet & DVD (the best choice for videos that you will share online) and Portable Devices. Once you’ve made your display choice, click the Recorded Timings and Narrations button and choose the Record Timings and Narrations option to add a soundtrack, if your presentation doesn’t already have one.
Progress through your presentation, speaking about each slide as you display it. Click the Next button on the recording toolbar to move to the next slide. Repeat these steps until you’ve recorded the audio for your entire slideshow. When you reach the last slide, the program returns you to the PowerPoint Backstage area. Click the Create Video button and type a name for the video file, and then wait as PowerPoint encodes the video.
Once it has created your video, you can upload the video file to the Web. Use an online video-streaming service such as Vimeo, and you’ll be able to mark the file as either private or accessible to anyone.
Next Page: Share a Presentation via SkyDrive