These are generally slideshows made with Microsoft's PowerPoint software. A file ending in .ppt is viewable and editable and requires a version of PowerPoint to do this. A file ending in .pps (PowerPoint Show) is a read-only version of the slideshow. Viewers do not need PowerPoint to be installed to view this file on their systems.

The default format for Microsoft PowerPoint is filename.ppt, however the read-only .pps format can also be selected and saved. Go to the File menu and select the Save As option. After giving the slideshow a file name, click in the field under the filename and instead of the default .ppt, scroll and select .pps (screenshot).

Another advantage of saving a slideshow as PPS is that the recipient does not require Microsoft PowerPoint to be installed on their computer. They will however need to install the PowerPoint Viewer, which Microsoft offers for free..

A possible disadvantage of using PPS instead of PPT is that when printing, the only option may be one slide per sheet (or side) of paper.

Incidental sounds should be added with caution to slideshows as they can be distracting. To insert a sound from file, go to the Insert menu and select Movies and Sounds and then select Sound from File.. (screenshot).

You will be prompted to have the sound start automatically or when clicked. After making this choice, navigate to the selected sound file and finally click the OK button. A visible yellow speaker icon representing the sound object will be inserted into the slide. This icon can be moved around but remains visible on the slide (screenshot). Note that the sound will only play for the selected slide and will stop if the slide is advanced.

A note about linked or embedded sound files.
On the Tools menu, select Options and in the Options box select the General tab (screenshot). Note that by default PowerPoint will link sound files larger than 100kb in size. This means that the sound file will not be embedded in the PowerPoint file, but must accompany it in order to be heard. To change this default behaviour, increase the file size in this box as required. Thus if a 1MB sound file (or a combination of sound files adding up to 1MB) is added to the slideshow, increase this figure to approximately 1100kb and click OK.

Narration requires a microphone plugged into the computer so you can hear and record your voice. Use headphones if there is feedback through the PC speakers.

There are a couple of ways to achieve narration in PowerPoint. The first is to prerecord a sound file for each slide and then embed each sound file as above. The second is to use PowerPoint's built-in narration feature. Note that although the following instructions may seem involved, there are actually only a few steps to narrating a slideshow and after a few attempts the process is fairly straightforward..
  • To narrate within PowerPoint, in edit view select the slide in which you would like to begin narration.
  • Go to the Slide Show menu and select Record Narration (screenshot).
  • The next option is to set up the microphone (screenshot) or click OK to proceed without doing this..
  • Set Microphone Level - This is to ensure that the microphone is working properly. Click the Set Microphone Level button to see the Microphone Check dialog box.
  • Change Quality - Another option which allows a change in the quality of the sound recorded. Better quality means larger file size and usually high level quality is not required for simple mono voice narration. The three preset options starting from the Best Quality are CD, Radio and Telephone. Using Radio Quality provides a reasonable balance.
  • Link Narrations - This box would only be ticked if you wished to link the recorded voice sound files rather than embed them (see above).
  • Finally click the OK button.
  • PowerPoint will ask if you want to begin narration from the present slide or from the start of the presentation. Select as required.
  • Begin narration. To go to the next slide, click your mouse button or press the spacebar on your keyboard.
  • Complete the narration for all slides.
  • To end narration mode, cress the 'Escape' button on the keyboard.
  • PowerPoint will ask you if you want to save the timing with each slide. Click 'Yes' to accept.
  • Preview the narration by pressing F5

External PowerPoint Links

How to Create Effective PowerPoint Lectures (Presentations that Capture Attention) -

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