At work we’ve been puzzling over the use of embedded videos in PowerPoint and after reading through the PowerPoint help files, I found out the following:
There are two ways to play videos within PowerPoint.
1. You can “link” to a movie located somewhere on the web, YouTube for example.
2. “Embedded”, These aren’t really embedded at all, you end up linking to a movie file that is located on the local computer. This means that when you move or eMail a presentation, you have to include the movie file along with the presentation, and place it in the same folder that the presentation is in.
The latter #2 is much more elegant if you can get it to work because, it plays the video locally, (doesn’t require a connection to the internet), probably will play more smoothly, and can easily be set up to play full screen without any extra mouse clicking.
Example. We’re introducing a new program that has the acronym “SASH”.
I create a new presentation called SASHAlive!.pptx which contains the video sashintro.MP4 in the MP4 video format. I save both of these in the folder on our network S drive in a folder called sashvids.
Now, let’s say this needs to go to the Executive Director’s laptop as a presentation to be given at a conference.
We create a new folder on her laptop on the C: drive. C:\WashingtonConf And we copy our two Sash files, the pptx file, and the mp4 file into that same folder.
Now when she runs the PowerPoint slides, and the appropriate slide comes up with the video, it will search in the same folder for the video, and play it.
Caveat: The machine used to play the video has to have the proper software. Videos comes in several different formats, among them .MP4, .QTW, .SWF and .ASF. Always, always, test on the machine that is to be used to project the PowerPoint.
Final Caveat: Never expect things to work the first time; they must be tested, especially PowerPoint stuff. It is a cliché that even after millions of PowerPoint presentations, there always seem to be problems on the podium. Speaking from my own experience, nothing undermines a speaker’s confidence more than anxiety about whether or not the bloody PowerPoint is going to work correctly, and adding audio and video just compounds the anxiety. The anxiety can be alleviated by preparation, practice, and rehearsal.