If you've ever created slide shows for your sales presentations, you have probably used Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003. PowerPoint is a powerful and effective program for displaying concise data during a live presentation. But PowerPoint slides alone might not be sufficiently informative when distributed over your company's intranet or as a presentation that customers can view from your company's Web site.
Microsoft Producer for PowerPoint is a new tool for adding a rich video experience to your slide shows. Producer can combine a PowerPoint presentation with video, audio, Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), and still images to create a standalone presentation that you can distribute on the Internet or on a CD-ROM. Your target audience can then view it by using a Web browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Prepare your video
To display video effectively, make sure that the video you use has sufficient resolution to look good during playback. When you prepare your video, do the following:
- Encode your video at the bit rate that you want to use for your final presentation. This method prevents re-encoding the video when you publish it and ensures the highest quality possible.
- If you plan to publish your presentation at different bit rates for distribution over different connection speeds, capture the video at the highest bit rate that you want to use. When you publish your presentation at lower bit rates, Producer resamples and re-encodes the video to the new bit rate.
- If you plan to use special effects and transitions in your video, use your video-editing software to incorporate these effects in your video before you import it. Producer must re-encode the video if you apply effects or transitions in the presentation.
- Save the video you want to import into Producer as a Microsoft Windows Media® file (.wmv) by using the Windows Media 9 Series codecs. Producer publishes its presentations as .wmv files, so always use .wmv files to avoid having to re-encode the video when you publish the presentation.
Import and add video files
Because video files have finite durations, you might want to add the files first and then adjust all the other elements to synchronize with the files.
Note The following procedures assume that you already started Producer. The first time that you start Producer, a Microsoft Producer dialog box opens.
To import video clips into Producer
- Click the Media tab.
- Under Project files, click the Video folder.
- Double-click Import Video.
- In the Import File dialog box, browse to the location of your video files, select the video files that you want to use, and then click Open.
Sometimes you might import a single video file made up of several video clips. Individual clips are easier to work with when you synchronize slides, templates, and other elements. For this reason, you might want to import the single file as several smaller clips.
To import a single video file as several smaller video clips, select Create clips for video files in the Import File dialog box when you import the video file. After the video clips appear in the Video folder, drag each clip to the Video track in the timeline in the order you want the clips to play.
Video clips also include a sound track. If the sound track on the timeline is not already displayed, expand the Video track to see the associated Transition and Audio tracks.
Note You can also add a video clip to the Audio 2 track. If you do this, only the audio contained in the video clip is played in your project; the video contained in the clip is not displayed.
Use video effects and transitions
If you did not create effects in your video file before you imported it, you can apply video effects and transitions to the video clips in your presentation. Effects can subtly or dramatically alter the appearance of your video clips. By using video transitions, you can make a less abrupt switch from one clip to another.
Note Transitions create a time overlap between clips.
To apply a video effect
- On the Media tab, in the Project files list, click Video Effects.
- Drag the effect that you want onto a video clip in the timeline.
You can add more than one effect to a clip, such as Fade In, From Black and Fade Out, To Black.
To apply multiple video effects
When you apply multiple effects, Producer combines the effects. When you apply one or more effects to a video clip, an effects icon appears on the clip in the timeline.
- Right-click the clip in the timeline, and then click Effects.
- In the Apply or Remove Video Effects dialog box, the effects applied to the clip are listed under Displayed effects.
To add a video transition between two video clips
- In the Project files list, click Video Transitions.
- Drag the transition that you want to the Transition track, and position the transition between the video clips that you want to use with the transition.
- Adjust the duration of the transition by dragging the start point of the transition.
Note You can zoom in the timeline to make adjusting the transition duration easier.
Synchronize the video with your slides
Before creating your presentation, make sure that the slides in the presentation advance in pace with the transition points made by the speaker in the video.
If you set your slide transitions in PowerPoint to advance on a mouse click, you can use Producer to synchronize your video clips with your PowerPoint slide transitions.
To set slide transitions in PowerPoint to advance on a mouse click
- Click Slide Show, and then click Slide Transition.
- In the Slide Transition task pane, under Advance slide, select On mouse click.
When you use the following steps to synchronize slides, each slide transition works as if you clicked the mouse in a PowerPoint presentation.
To synchronize your slides and video
- On the toolbar in Producer, click Synchronize.
- Click Set slide timing, and then click Play.
- When you want Producer to display the next bullet point or slide, click Next Slide.
- When the slides and animations are synchronized the way that you want, click Finish.
Tip You might have to use the Synchronize Slides tool a few times to get it right.
Publish your presentation
In the Publish Wizard, the default audience connection speed for a presentation is 300 kilobits per second (Kbps), which is suitable for viewing over a corporate local area network (LAN). However, you might want to choose different settings to view your presentation on a CD-ROM, over a digital subscriber line (DSL) connection, or over a 56-Kbps dial-up connection.
To publish your presentation
- On the File menu, click Publish Presentation.
- Follow the instructions in the Publish Wizard to select appropriate settings, provide information about your presentation, and publish your presentation.
To select different audience connection speed settings
- On the Publish Setting page in the Publish Wizard, click Choose publish settings for different audiences, and then click Next.
- Under Windows media technology, select the codecs that you want to use.
Note Unless you need your presentation to be compatible with older versions of Windows Media Player, select Windows Media 9 codecs.
- Under Audience Connection Speed in the Target audience connection, select the connection speeds that you want to use, and then click Next. You can select multiple connection speeds so that your audience can choose which speed is suitable for them.
- Click Next to publish your presentation, and then click Finish.
For examples of presentations created with Producer, see Producer 2003 Demos and Samples. You can get some great ideas about how to produce an informative, dynamic sales presentation by using Producer 2003.