We record and edit a lot of business and training presentation videos, and we often see presenters struggling with getting videos to play correctly in their PowerPoint slides. Here’s how you should set up your PowerPoint presentation in order to play video.

1. Before you begin to work on the content of your slides, make sure your PowerPoint presentation is set up as 16:9 rather than 4:3

Because videos are shot in a widescreen, or 16:9, aspect ratio, having 16:9 slides will give you the space you need to have your video appear full screen.

To change your slide size, first make sure you have Normal selected under the View tab. Next, click on the Design tab, and click on Slide Size in the Customize group. From here you can choose Widescreen (16:9).

2. Instead of linking to your videos from the internet, embed the video file into your PowerPoint slide

Linking to a video online may seem like the easiest way to include video in your presentation, but embedding the video file into the slide will allow for a much smoother presentation.

PowerPoint expert Dave Paradi has noted some disadvantages of linking to your video

  • Linking to your video will require an internet connection during the presentation that is fast enough to stream video.
  • Your audience will see the browser toolbars as well as the operating system task bar. This creates a distracting viewing environment.
  • Many online videos also have ads that can play before the video or within the browser next to the video.
  • Videos played from YouTube will show suggested video thumbnails when your video finishes playing. This may even include videos from your competitors.
  • Depending on your internet connection, it may take a few seconds for the video to start playing as the service buffers the video.
  • Your video may continually pause to buffer if the network becomes overloaded or the internet connection is slow.

source: thinkoutsidetheslide

An embedded video file will not require an internet connection during your presentation and the video will play smoothly within PowerPoint.

To embed a video in PowerPoint, go to the Insert tab, then click on Video in the Media section along the top. Choose the Video on My PC option then locate your video file and click insert.

*Note that when preparing your video to embed into your PowerPoint presentation, there are many different file formats for video, and not all formats are supported by all versions of PowerPoint.

Microsoft recommends the following file formats for video in PowerPoint:

PowerPoint 2010: .wmv
PowerPoint 2013, PowerPoint 2016, and PowerPoint 2016 for Mac: .mp4 encoded with H.264 video and AAC audio

You can view a list of all supported video formats here.

Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to embed your video and test that it plays properly before your live presentation. Do not wait until the day of your presentation to test your video.

3. Make sure to save your PowerPoint as a package

In order for PowerPoint to play your embedded video, it needs to be able to access the video file. If you are showing your presentation on a computer other than the one that you used to create the presentation, PowerPoint will not be able to access that file unless it is packaged with the rest of your slide content.

Saving your presentation as a package will include any videos, fonts, images, and other graphics you used, so that when you open your presentation on a different computer, PowerPoint will be able to find all of those files, including your video, and display them properly.

You can learn how to save your presentation as a package here.



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