M is for Multimedia

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In our post The A-Z of PPT, M was for both memorability and multimedia.

The way we look at it, a great way to make a presentation memorable is to design it as a multimedia presentation.

And if that seems complicated, relax. All it means is that your presentation should contain an element of animation or video. Sound is an aspect of multi-media, so if you have still-slides with a Voice Over or background music that counts too. But if you want to up the ante and make a bigger impact, you might consider a more ambitious approach.

So let’s look at some of the ways in which you can become a multi-media magician.

Download the right technology

Professionals would suggest Adobe Flash (or its low-cost rival Swish). However, the easiest and most cost-effective method would be to simply use Microsoft PowerPoint. This enables you not only to add animation, video and sound but also allows easy editing.

Learn how to embed videos

Begin by identifying the right videos for your presentation. Shorter video clips are always better than longer ones. Ensure there aren’t any copyright issues, and always acknowledge the source. There are several formats available – but without getting too technical simply select the ones that are the most compressed (i.e. smaller in size and therefore easier to load and play). For the step-by-step guide, any number of tutorials are available online, of which we found this one particularly useful.

Add music to your presentation

Again, this is easier than you think. Choose your format, MP3 or WAV. Select your track from Free Music Loops and PowerPoint Sound Clips. And insert following the instructions on PPT following the instructions from the main menu (Insert > Movies and Sounds > Sound from file)

Animate your slides

Basic animation is perfectly doable on PPT – click on Custom Animation to get started… “Appear”, “Wipe” and “Box Out” are the most used and effective – just be sure to time them properly and set your animation to start automatically (1 second after the previous slide) so that you don’t to wait for the animation to build – you can continue talking while the slide falls into place.

Happy editing, embedding, animating! And once you’ve got the hang of the basics you might like to be more adventurous and download free animation software for more effects and impact…