Monday, November 22, 2010

Make your own slidecast; it is easy enough

I've made my own slidecast (my third actually!). What is a slidecast? It is a powerpoint presentation with a voice explaining the slides. On the one hand it may take more take to listen to it, on the other hand, it gives so much more context to the slides. It is really not difficult to make one but it may look difficult for outsiders. That's why I thought of blogging the process. But first of all: here's my second slidecast baby with Herman Brouwer of CDI talking about the facilitation of multi-stakeholder processes which he presented during a teleconference of the Forest Landscape Restoration network. The questions by the participants of the teleconference were also very interesting but I decided to leave them out because it make the slidecast really long. It is a little embarrassing that you hear me type very loudly towards the end. Next time I'll mute myself too!
How to do it?

  1. First of all you have to make sure you record the presentation. We used the hidefconferencing. phonebridge which allows you to record. If you use Skype, I'm not sure you can record directly with skype, but you may use a recorder like hotrecorder. It will produce an mp3 file.
  2. Use an audio editing program to edit. Or even better, make sure you have a good beginning and ending so that you don't have to edit. I edited the end, by cutting out the questions and answers. I used Audacity, a free program that works great and is user-friendly.
  3. Upload your presentation to slideshare. When you are done, in audacity you have to export rather than save your project because exporting allows you to choose the mp3 format which is required for slidecasts.
  4. Click on 'edit presentation and 'create slidecast. Then on 'upload mp3'.
  5. You will then get to the tool that allows your to synchronize the slides with the talking, very appropriately called the 'synchronization workspace'. You may choose for an equal slicing of the voice over the slides, but then you are freakingly structured. Most of the time some slides will have a long explanation, others a short one. This is how you can use the synchronization workspace (see picture)
    There are 3 parts; from top to bottom, the slides, the audio divider and the overview part. So what you do is simply play the whole audio thing. Listen to it carefully and drag the appropriate slide changes using the middle part. When you hear that the presentor is moving to the next slide, you position your ending of the first slide. You will find your way after a bit of testing. Some tips from mistakes I made in the beginning: You can only move the beginning and end of the selected slide (which is grey-ish). So you have to select a next slide by clicking on it if you want to change the beginning or ending of another slide. And you have to move the venster at the bottom in the overview space when you continue further. The line is long, therefore the audio divider shows only part of the audio. Which part is shown can be seen by looking at the venster in the overview. You can drag it to change it. So it helps not to get lost.
Ofcourse there is also the slidecasting demo from slideshare if you get stuck with my explanations.... And don't forget the frequently asked questions.

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