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?