Thursday, 1 April 2010

How I made a Prezicast.

If you are going to share your presentation online then you need audio. A presentation which is not text-heavy, and doesn't cause death by bullet-point, can be hard for others to follow if they can not hear what you are saying to make sense of the images. A few weeks ago I discovered how easy Slideshare makes adding audio to a powerpoint presentation to make a screencast. (And I had quite a lot of help from my twitter support team!)

Last week I gave my first presentation using Prezi and recorded the audio with my trusty Zoom Q3. I then set about trying to figure out how to put the two together. It causes quite a lot of consternation to users but Prezi does not host audio on their site. Allowing a sound file to be synced to the Prezi timeline would seem a very sensible thing for them to introduce so there must be a very good reason why it has not been introduced.  I found some mention of possibly adding a sound file at the start of the presentation which would run throughout. This caused me to spend far too long- several hours- trying to figure out how to convert a .wav file (from ZoomQ3) to .swf (Prezi is flash-driven). I didn't manage it and was about to give up on the task entirely.

Instead I went back to one of the first solutions suggested to me : record a screencast with Camtasia. It's quite an expensive programme so I signed up for a trial. I then played my audio file outside of Camtasia and recorded the screen as I navigated through the Prezi in time. The end result is not perfect but it is good enough! If you are doing this make sure that you do not record sound within Camtasia when making the screencast. 

I produced a video file... I think I chose mp4, which I then uploaded to Vimeo. Why did I choose Vimeo? Well, it was the first time to use this as well and I guess I like the clean interface when embedded.

So, that is how I made a Prezicast You can see the end result here. If you have managed to do this some other way please let me know. I did think about embedding the audio separately but I think that would have been more perplexing for my audience! Do you think any other screencast software would allow me to do this? Maybe even free? 


  1. Let me know if you come up with any more Prezi tips, Sarah

  2. Other reasons for using vimeo: no time limit!

    Have you tried screenr? No downloads, uses your twitter account for authentication. Not sure if screencasts have a time limit, but better and more convenient for a fast screencast than Camtasia.

  3. @Sarah You are very welcome!

    @Chris I LOVE's somethink that I use all the time myself but it wouldn't have been useful for this task. First of all there is a 5 minute time limit while this presentation was closer to 15 minutes, and second you can not add existing audio to a screencast. I wanted to know if there is another screencast tool which allows audio to be edited into a screencast. I guess you could use other vide-editing software but then it starts getting very complicated.

  4. Hi Anne Marie,
    Thanks very much for sharing your experience. I think web 2.0 has amazing potential for medical education and research. Although I am currently practising medicine in the west, I am trying to use web 2.0 to help educate and share some of my humble knowledge with medical students/doctors in the developing world (initially Libya/Arabic speaking countries but hoping to expand). The outreach potential is huge and the applications are rapidly developing. Some of the tools/applications I'm seeing are amazing with huge time saving/life saving potential. These can be especially useful for people practising in more rural communities. Mobile technology/computers are also developing and becoming more cheaper, thus the internet will become more accessible and at cheaper prices. This will make sharing of info more easier and will vastly improve health care around the world. Going back to the main topic, I have tried to work around the technical difficulty of online presentations (screencasts), I think your advice is invaluable. I plan to develop the podcast I run to include slides as well if and when I get the time!! Please keep up the good work and I am grateful for your brilliant website.

  5. Anne Marie - Thanks for posting on Prezi's forum and for this explanation. I have a lot to learn.

  6. Hi Bart,
    I'm really glad you found this helpful. More recently I have gone back to using PPT on Slideshare because I have not felt compelled enough by the Prezi case. But.... if I get round to making anymore I will let you know.

  7. I've just discovered Prezi (literally today) and the same question occurred to me as you've solved here.

    One more question...

    You write: "If you are doing this make sure that you do not record sound within Camtasia when making the screencast."

    Why not record sound (narrate) within Camtasia while click through the Prezi? Just curious to know your thinking here.

    Thanks for sharing! Helps a lot.


  8. Hello Stephen,

    In my case I was using an existing audio file... but of course narration is possible if you don't have that.


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