Can you Build a Slide Deck? You Can Make a Video!

As demand for multimedia content continues to grow and newsroom budgets remain highly constrained, individual journalists find themselves responsible for creating explainer and snackable videos. These videos are intended to live on publication websites and in social media platforms.

Many journalists have neither the skills nor the time to create content in a digital video authoring suite. Nearly all of them know how to put pictures and text on a slide, though. This article explores how to do that.

Video Samples

We are going to create four videos for the web/social media.

The first one is the main video, and it will be about 2 minutes long. It’s great to have that all in one place, but that might be a little long for a social video, so we’ll then turn that into three shorter videos with voice over.

Here are those four videos:

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Let’s explore how we get there.

Our Story

I’m a reporter for the Seattle bureau of the fictional Contoso World News.

October 29, 2020 is World Stroke Day. It’s a day set aside to raise awareness about the brain injury that is a stroke. Our station is doing stories about local survivors and hospitals specializing in neurological care. In addition to my reporting duties, I’ve been told I need to make some snackables to support our broader reporting initiatives.

I start out by collecting my research and key facts. I add them to PowerPoint slides.

Basic video creation

I could just take that slide deck and turn it into a video like this:

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And that gives us this video, which is a nice start, but it’s not super compelling.


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So let’s do some interesting stuff.

Entrance Effects and Animation Paths

Let’s make the title more compelling.


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Character Morph and Text Animation

Numbers are important, but tough to engage with for some viewers so let’s make them more visually interesting.


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Picture Morph

To draw attention to part of a map, we can use Morph to zoom in on a photo. Or go the opposite way.

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Text Effects

For the BEFAST message, I really want to emphasize the letters, so folks remember the acronym.


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Adding Video to Video

We can add another video clip inside our video. This helps us comment on it or use the video clip to emphasize something else


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Highlighting a Screenshot

Calling out a part of a text document can be helpful when you want to establish credibility, but there is too much text to read at a glance.


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Slide Objects In

We can use Morph to bring in a bunch of pre-staged objects. This way the graphic builds to emphasize more points and give each one the attention it needs.


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Closing Slides

As we’re wrapping up the graphics, we’ll close out with a couple simple screens so folks can get more information.


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Set timings

Before we turn it into a video, we need to make sure PowerPoint knows how long to spend on each slide. To do that, we’ll record custom timings by clicking through the slide show in real time.

As I showed earlier, now that we’ve done the creative work and set the timings, it’s simple to build the MP4 that you can then share.


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Make it Shorter

So now we’ve got the full video, but we want some shorter ones for social sharing. In this video there are really three themes — Stroke by the Numbers, BEFAST, and Reducing Your Risk.

To make the short videos, I’m going to create three new decks using the Reuse Slide feature. You’ll see two of the videos here and one in the next section.


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Add a Voiceover

Sometimes a talk track helps. Let’s do that with the BEFAST video.


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Wrap Up

Now that you have the skills to create video with PowerPoint, I can’t wait to see what you do for your organization. Let us know at [email protected]

On a personal note, one of things I appreciate about working with Microsoft as a stroke survivor is that not only is the Microsoft News team supportive and accommodating of my disabilities, but the team is also supportive of my efforts to incorporate stroke education into other initiatives (like this example) where it fits.