In this article you’ll learn how to convert PowerPoint to video, and the different options you have.
While most people know how to use PowerPoint to present their products and services live, few people know how to turn a PowerPoint into a video that runs on its own.
And while that might sound complicated, it’s in fact pretty easy, as you will see below.
There are two different ways to turn your PowerPoint presentations into video, the first of which gives you the most options, as discussed below.
But before you start the conversion process, here are some thoughts about why you should consider doing it in the first place.
Why convert PowerPoint to video?
While it obviously depends on what you are trying to accomplish, in short "yes." But if that isn't enough to convince you, here are a few reasons to consider it.
It keeps your presentation the way it was intended
When you’ve spent time and effort creating a killer presentation, you probably don’t want anyone to change anything. Sure, you can send it out as a PDF, but you’ll lose all the animations and transitions you so carefully created.
Exporting your presentation as a video keeps all elements safely locked in place. That way you can email it to your colleagues or clients without worrying that something will shift, or that timings be messed up.
Video is more accessible and shareable
While most people have PowerPoint on their computer, we shouldn’t assume that they do. Convert your PowerPoint to video and the receiver can open it even if they don’t have a Microsoft subscription. They will have to have a media player though!
It’s also easier to view videos on a mobile device, so busy clients can check out your presentation while on the move.
Furthermore, it's also easier to share videos on multiple platforms. They can be posted to YouTube, on your company blog, and on social media and video sharing networks.
People love videos!
With more than 75 million people watching online videos every day across the United States alone, you know you’re onto a good thing. According to marketing gurus, just mentioning the word ‘video’ in the subject line of an email increases the click-through rate by 19%.
We human beings naturally love a good story because it conveys a message on an emotional level; and videos are very effective for storytelling, especially in contrast to written text or even images.
Since people's decision-making process is often based on emotions, turning your presentation into a video can be very convincing.
What is an MP4?
MP4 is short for MPEG-4 Video, and is a universal video format that plays on any device.
When converting PowerPoint to video, you can choose between the MPEG-4 Video file format (MP4) or the Windows Media Video file format (WMV), as discussed below.
The two main advantages of MP4 for your videos are:
- It's a pre-compressed and compact file type format (so it's small)
- It plays on just about any device
When converting PowerPoint to video, I highly recommend using the MP4 format unless you have a specific reason not to.
To learn more of the advantages of the MP4 format, see this Quora thread here.
Option #1. Convert PowerPoint to video
To convert your PowerPoint presentation into a video, simply:
- Click the File tab
- Select Export
- Select Create Video
- Choose your Video Quality and Recorded Timings and Narrations (see details below)
- Click Create Video
Choose where to save the video on your computer and click Save.
As a result, your PowerPoint presentation is converted into video, based on the Recorded Timings and Narrations you selected, or the preset seconds per slide you set (all discussed below).
You can even add music and loop it throughout your video if you want to. To learn how to add music to PowerPoint, read our guide here.
Video quality determines not only the quality of your video output, but also how large the video file will be, as you can see in the image below.
For most situations, the Full HD (1080p) is a great choice.
That said, if you are showing your video on a large overhead projector and size isn't an issue, you can improve the quality of your video by using the Ultra HD (4K) format.
Below you can see the different video quality options you have in the Create a Video dialog box.
If file size is an issue or you are just showing your video on a smaller laptop screen, you can save a lot of space with the HD (720p) or HD (480p) formats.
HD (720p) is supported on most websites and video platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. The HD (480p) option is the best option for mobile devices.
Setting recorded timings and narrations
Recorded Timings and Narrations are important when converting PowerPoint to video as they not only dictate how long your video will be, but determine when things happen in your presentation.
There are a variety of ways you can set your Recorded Timings or Narrations (all detailed below), but in short, your options are:
- Automatically set how many seconds you want per slide
- Set your own Rehearsal Timings (no audio or video) by clicking through your presentation
- Narrate your PowerPoint with voice and/or video, which automatically sets the slide timings for you
If you use the Record Slide Show dialog box to narrate your entire presentation, you can simply use the Save As dialog box (discussed next) to save your PowerPoint as a video, as your narrations will take care of everything in your video.
To learn everything you need to know about narrating a PowerPoint presentation, read our guide here.
Properly using PowerPoint animations
If you have animated sequences in your presentation and are going to use a pre-set number of seconds per slide, I recommend setting all your animations to After Previous.
This ensures that you don't get a bunch of lag time (as much as 10 seconds per slide) in your converted video, waiting for your animations to trigger.
To set an animation to trigger automatically as your slide changes, simply:
- Select your animated object
- Open the Animations tab
- Open the Start drop down
- Select After Previous
This ensures that your animations will trigger after the previous action, whether that is an animation or advancing to the next slide.
If you leave your animations set to On Click, they can add a delay of as much as 10 seconds to your video. This is especially if you are using the second conversion method (see the section below here on saving PowerPoint as a video).
Option #2. Save PowerPoint as video
The fastest way to convert your PowerPoint presentations into a video format, is to use the Save As dialog box.
This works best when you have narrated your PowerPoint presentation using the Record Slide Show dialog box, and just want the Full HD (1080p) quality for your video.
That's because all of your slide timings, actions and animated sequences are saved within your narration, so all PowerPoint then has to do is save itself as a video using the default settings.
If you are not narrating your presentation, then I recommend using the first method discussed above.
To save your presentation as a video from inside PowerPoint, simply:
- Hit F12 or Ctrl + Shift + S to open the Save As dialog box
- Choose a location to save your video
- Change the file type to either MPEG-4 Video (recommended) or Windows Media Video
- Click Save
Depending on the size of your presentation, it might take a minute or two to save your presentation as a video, so just hang tight.
When it is finished, your PowerPoint will be saved as a video in the Full HD (1080p) format. If you want a different video quality, you will need to use the Create a Video dialog box (see the first method discussed above).
After you save your presentation as a video, you can then embed it in other presentation if you want to. To learn how to embed a video in PowerPoint, read our guide here.
Note: I highly recommend saving your presentation in the MPEG-4 (MP4) file format as it is more universally accepted than the Windows Media Video (WMV) file format.
How to record and set timings for your video
When converting PowerPoint to video, the timings not only determine the length of your video, they also determine the timing in which your animated sequences are triggered.
If you have a lot of animated sequences in your presentation, I don't recommend using a set number of seconds per slide.
That's because you can't control the lag between the animated sequences and your content. Instead, I recommend using the Rehearse Timings command.
Here are the 4 different ways you can set and adjust slide timings for your presentation, from easiest to slowest.
1. Set a default number of seconds per slide
An easy way to set a standard number of seconds per slide is in the Export to Video dialog box.
To use a standard number of seconds per slide for your slide timings, simply:
- Navigate to the File tab
- Click Export
- Select Create Video
- Set the number of seconds
- Click Create Video
The more seconds you set per slide, the longer your video will be in total.
2. Set transition timings to advance your slides
PowerPoint transitions are another great way to not only make flipping between your slides less abrupt, but also to automatically advance your slides.
Using the Transitions tab, you can both set a default number of seconds for all of your slides, as well as adjust the time spent on individual slides.
For example, to set a Fade transition and slide timings of 3 seconds per slide, simply:
- Navigate to the Transitions tab
- Click the Fade transition
- Under the Effect Options, choose Through Black
- Deselect On Mouse Click
- For After, input 3 seconds (and make sure there is a check mark next to After)
- Click Apply to All
As a result, all the slides in your presentation will now have a Fade transition and will automatically advance after 3 seconds.
You can also adjust the duration of the transitions between your slides if you want to get specific, but I think the default is usually fine.
3. Use the Rehearse Timings command
If you want to control the flow of your timings by manually clicking through your presentation, you can use the Rehearse Timings command.
To set your slide timings with the Rehearse Timings command, simply:
- Navigate to the Slide Show tab
- Click the Rehearse Timings command
- Use the Rehearse Timings dialog box to click through your presentation
- When you are finished, click Yes to save the slide timings
Here is a quick run through of the commands on the Rehearse Timings dialog box.
Clicking Repeat starts the rehearsal timing over for the current slide you are on. That means you can restart the timing without having to start the presentation over from scratch.
4. Use the Record Slide Show command
The Record Slide Show command is the NEWEST and best way to add audio and video narrations to your presentations.
The advantage of using this tool to narrate your PowerPoint presentation, is that all of your slide timings, animations and actions are recorded for each slide.
That means you can simply use the Save As dialog box to quickly convert your narrated PowerPoint into a video.
To use the Record Slide Show command to narrate your presentation from the beginning, simply:
- Navigate to Slide Show tab
- Open the Record Slide Show drop down
- Select Record from Beginning
To learn how to use the Record Slide Show command to narrate your PowerPoint (and all the options you have), read our guide here.
Note: If you just click the Record Slide Show button (instead of opening the drop down), you will begin recording your narration from your current slide.
How to clear recorded slide timings
To clear your recorded slide timings from your presentation, simply:
- Navigate to the Slide Show command
- Open the Record Slide Show drop down
- Select Clear
- Choose to clear timings on Current Slide or on All Slides
This removes any slide timings you set using either the Rehearse Timings command, the Record Slide Show command or the Transitions tab.
Note: If the Clear option is greyed out in the Record Slide Show drop down, that simply means that you do not have any recorded slide timings in your presentation.
So that's how to turn PowerPoint into a video, either by exporting your video using the Create a Video command, or by saving your PowerPoint presentation as a video using the Save As dialog box.
If you narrate you presentation using the Record Slide Show command, the Save As dialog box is the fastest way to turn your presentation into a video.
And while PowerPoint gives you two different video file types to choose from, I recommend using the universal MP4 video file format. That's because it ensures that your video will play on any device (computer, tablet or phone) that people may have.
If you enjoyed this article, you can learn more about our PowerPoint training courses and other presentation resources by visiting us here.