How to create a video with PowerPoint

file0001729717762Confession time: I view creating videos as a necessary evil.

It’s not something I look forward to, and that’s not just because good hair days don’t come around very often.

It’s because:

  • I don’t like appearing on camera (see reference to good hair days above)
  • I’m not as familiar as I’d like to be with the technology involved

But I know that because YouTube is the second most popular search engine, I need to load more videos into the Build Book Buzz YouTube channel. This will help more authors discover the free book marketing tips and advice I offer on this site and in the free Build Book Buzz newsletter.

Fortunately, you and I can create videos without appearing on camera — just create a  video with PowerPoint instead, using your slides as the basis of your video.

To help anyone who is just as new at this as I am, I’m sharing the steps I took to create this PowerPoint-based video that I just uploaded. I hope it saves you time, since you’re spared all of the Googling I did to figure out how to do something that’s new to me.

Here’s the video; scroll down for the how-to:

Start with a PowerPoint presentation

With the help of Google, I discovered that if you’ve got PowerPoint 2010, you can save your presentation file in a video format and work with that. I don’t, so I needed Plan B.

I knew that Windows Live Movie Maker, the free software I use that was pre-installed on my computer, lets me create a video from pictures/images, so I looked in the “save as” options in my PowerPoint file to see if I could save it in JPEG (image) format.



That arrow is pointing to a drop-down menu that lets you save the file in many different formats. I selected “JPEG File Interchange Format.” When I selected “save,” a new window popped up, asking me, “Do you want to export every slide in the presentation or only the current slide?” I selected “Every slide” from the three options.

That step created a new folder with each slide as a JPEG image. I added them into my new video file in Movie Maker by selecting “add videos and photos” from the “home” tab.

With the images in place, I played around with the software’s auto movie themes to see which one I liked the most. The option I selected added a “slide” at the beginning (the “Build Book Buzz” text that moves across my first PPT slide as the video starts) and three slides at the end for production credits. I could have deleted those extra slides at the end, but I left them in because just between us, adding silly stuff for the end credits is my favorite part of video-making.


How to add narration

With the video portion done pretty quickly, I was ready to add narration. I knew I had to create and add an audio file, but didn’t know how, so I turned to Google again. I found a super helpful video that showed me how to find the computer’s recorder software and then how it use it. (Tip: It’s as easy as pressing the “start” button.)

The instructions told me to type “sound recorder” into the search box. Bam! There it was! Clicking on the search results brought up the recorder software.


To make sure my audio is good, I always use an external microphone, an Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone. I plugged it in to the side, turned it on, and practiced my narration by speaking while the video ran through in “view/preview full screen” mode.

The video moved too quickly, so I had to adjust the settings so that each image stayed on the screen longer. The default was 7 seconds; I bumped each one up to 12.5 and that seemed to be good enough.

durationAfter a few more practice narrations while the video moved through, I was ready to record it with the sound recorder. It wasn’t perfect, but I would have been working on it all day if perfection was the goal. Some days, good is good enough.

I added my recorded narration to the video by going to the “home” screen, selecting “add music” from the toolbar, and selecting the audio file. It was really that simple.

I played the file to make sure audio and video were in sync, saved the file, and uploaded it to my YouTube channel.

I hope this level of detail helps anyone who had the same questions I had. So now it’s my turn to ask a question:

What’s your best video production tip for newbies? What tip can you offer that might either save us time, or improve our video quality?


Get more helpful free book marketing information in the “Build Book Buzz” e-mail newsletter.

Sandra Beckwith is an award-winning former publicist who now teaches authors how to market their books. Three groups have recognized her site as an outstanding resource for authors, so you know her advice is author-tested.

Download Sandra’s free “Top 5 Free Book Promotion Resources” and you’ll also receive the free weekly “Build Book Buzz” newsletter loaded with book marketing tips and advice.

22 Responses to How to create a video with PowerPoint
  1. Flora Morris Brown
    August 5, 2014 | 8:42 pm

    Hi Sandra,

    Thanks for posting this easy-to-follow tutorial on making a PPT video. I think many of us (women in particular) hesitate to make on-camera videos because we worry about our hair, makeup, background, etc. There’s no need to worry about all that if we want to just call attention to the content we want to share.

    When sharing vital content or motivation in small chunks like you’ve done here as PPTs we can create more videos in a shorter period of time since we no longer have to worry about our on-camera appearance. This allows us to build up our video library faster until we’re ready to go on-camera.

    When I create on-camera videos, my biggest tips are
    1. Set up a dedicated background and area in your house or office
    2. Shoot 3 to 5 short videos at a time.
    3. With makeup and hair in place, quickly change just your top, giving the impression of shooting on different days.
    4. Cover just one point
    5. Did I mention keeping them short–no more than about 2 minutes?

    Since I’ve neglected my videos for quite a while, you’ve motivated me to set up a few PowerPoint videos until I’m ready for my close-ups again.

    Thanks again.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      August 5, 2014 | 9:11 pm

      Flora, as always, this is excellent advice! Thank you! I really like the idea of shooting several at once on those days when you’ve gone to the trouble to look decent for the camera.

      I really appreciate you taking the time to share these tips. They’re really helpful.



  2. Philippa Rees
    August 6, 2014 | 5:18 pm

    Very helpful post. Now I have no excuse not to do something similar. Thank you

    • Sandra Beckwith
      August 6, 2014 | 5:33 pm

      Exactly, Philippa!


  3. Carla King
    August 6, 2014 | 6:41 pm

    Hi Sandra,
    As a longtime Mac Keynote user I kludged a similar solution but later found that using the record slideshow feature to manually talk through the presentation is easier. It does not allow for any errors at all. But you can stop and start it.
    Another solution is ScreenFlow which lets you capture your screen, again, you can manually advance. It also uses your camera to video you talking – place the small window anywhere you like on the screen or just delete it. But my favorite tool is Camtasia, which is well worth the price. You can try both these tools I think for 30 days free.
    I hope that helps you create more great videos, which do get a lot of Google love 🙂
    Best, Carla

    • Sandra Beckwith
      August 6, 2014 | 7:03 pm

      Thanks for the tips, Carla! I’ve used screen capture software for other types of videos and really like it. I’ll try “record slideshow,” too.

      : )


  4. Patsy Bellah
    August 7, 2014 | 2:45 pm

    I loved this article and the demonstration. Since the advice on the video was excellent, I’d call that making one effort count twice.

    I especially applaud you that your advice and instructions are using software that is free, leaving no excuses for anyone not to take advantage of it.

    You Tube, here I come.

    Patsy Bellah
    Self-Publishing Facilitator

    • Sandra Beckwith
      August 7, 2014 | 4:01 pm

      Thanks, Patsy! I’m so glad it was helpful! Now that you’ve got all of the excuses out of the way, I’m sure you’ll have fun with your video project.


  5. Jane Ann McLachlan
    August 7, 2014 | 8:34 pm

    I’m trying to envision how powerpoint videos could be used as book trailers for fiction, and coming up blank. Any ideas? Better yet, any examples to share?

    • Sandra Beckwith
      August 7, 2014 | 8:50 pm

      You could definitely do it, especially with animation, etc., Jane. My article isn’t about book trailers, though, so I didn’t look for any to use as examples. I hope you find a few to inspire you.


    • Flora Morris Brown
      August 7, 2014 | 8:54 pm

      Hi Jane,

      Check out some of the book trailers for fiction books on YouTube and think about how you can adapt what they’ve done for your book.

      I’m thinking you could create slides from a few images that depict a few key scenes, characters or themes from your book. Then overlay intriguing narration, perhaps even reading a few compelling lines from your book.

      • Sandra Beckwith
        August 7, 2014 | 9:13 pm

        I like that, Flora! I’m wondering if you can simulate page-turning with animation in PPT. I have no idea, though.


      • Jane Ann McLachlan
        September 1, 2014 | 7:25 pm

        Great idea, thanks!

        • Sandra Beckwith
          September 2, 2014 | 12:02 am

          So glad it was helpful, Jane!


  6. Meta Brown
    August 12, 2014 | 10:37 pm


    There are also several programs that convert Powerpoint to video, saving the step with the jpegs. In fact, there is a video conversion option built right into Powerpoint 2010 (details here:

    • Sandra Beckwith
      August 12, 2014 | 11:01 pm

      Yup, got that covered, Meta, in this section of the blog post: [With the help of Google, I discovered that if you’ve got PowerPoint 2010, you can save your presentation file in a video format and work with that. I don’t, so I needed Plan B.]

      With PPPt 2010 or 2013, you go through the “save as” process and save it in video format, but my PPT is an older version so I can’t do that.



      • Meta Brown
        August 12, 2014 | 11:51 pm

        Oops, sorry! Read too fast.

        But your older version of PowerPoint doesn’t mean you can’t convert slides directly to video. You can get a conversion program, such as this one, which happens to be free:

        • Sandra Beckwith
          August 12, 2014 | 11:55 pm

          Thanks, Meta! I’ll have to give that a try and see if it’s easier than the JPG to video approach. I appreciate the link! (I wish there was a “like” button on your comment….)


  7. Flora Morris Brown
    August 12, 2014 | 11:50 pm

    I took a look around re: your question about page turning and learned there’s a page curling feature in 2013, but since I haven’t installed that yet, I couldn’t test it.

    For those who don’t have 2013 and perhaps don’t even want to buy it, there’s a program for $29.50 at

    I gave it a whirl, but ran out of patience and time to add audio to it.

    • Sandra Beckwith
      August 12, 2014 | 11:57 pm

      Thanks, Flora! This is really helpful.


  8. Peggy Salvatore
    August 29, 2014 | 2:51 pm

    Peggy Salvatore

    Health Business Communications

    I am not that facile with tech, and I just created a promotional powerpoint with audio in a few minutes using Knovio has a platform to use with your laptop/PC and another for ipad. It’s amazingly simple and free. Links to Twitter, LinkedIn and FB, and you can sure a url as well. Fabulous! My link is

    • Sandra Beckwith
      August 29, 2014 | 2:59 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing this information, Peggy! I can’t wait to try Knovio now. It sounds great!


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