Category Archives: Video

PowerPoint for Rapid Social Media Video Creation

I’m just back from the recent Presentation Summit where I had a chance to hang out with many old and new friends including Tom Howell from Australia’s Synapsis Creative. Tom is the newest PowerPoint MVP, and one of the things I love about the MVPs is that each comes to the PowerPoint with a very different perspective and skillset.

Tom’s specialty is using PowerPoint to author professional videos exploiting the program’s powerful, but often overlooked animation and video output features. Tom did a session at the Summit breaking down exactly how his studio creates videos for brands such as Coca-Cola, P&G and Nestle. Occasionally, he will use live video mixed in with graphics, but usually these videos all make use of vector-based objects, illustrations and text. I won’t go through Tom’s whole process and workflow, but one of the advantages to working in PowerPoint that he stresses is the ability to storyboard and author all within the same program, saving a great deal of time. Synapsis is gaining more and more clients who want a social media video executed in under 48 hours, and apparently that’s something they can do.

Oh, and he also said that they rarely use Morph which I found fascinating.

Check out an example of their PowerPoint video work above, and see their whole portfolio here.

And check out their blog as well.

Categories: Animation, PowerPoint, Video.

Linking to a Specific YouTube Video Section

I’m late to the game here, but just learned that you can link to a specific part of a YouTube video.

While we always recommend downloading and embedding a video into your presentation to avoid bandwidth and connectivity issues ( is one of my favorite tools to create a local version of a YouTube video), if you absolutely must play from a live link, there’s no reason you can’t start your video exactly where you want to. Here’s how…

Simply append the following to the end of your YouTube link:


Replace the minute and second markers with whatever you need, and that’s pretty much it.

So, to skip my preamble tribute to Hans Rosling in this tutorial and get right to the meat of it, you would use the following hyperlink:


Categories: Video.

Video and PowerPoint: The Presentation Podcast Episode #21

The Presentation Podcast

Episode #21, Video and PowerPoint is live.

This week we’re talking about incorporating video into PowerPoint as well as using PowerPoint to create video. Troy probably knows more about this topic than anyone around, so take a listen to learn all the hidden video power you’ve got at your fingertips.

Don’t forget to give us a rating on iTunes if you like the Podcast and want to help spread the word!

Subscribe on iTunes and check out the show notes for more info.

Categories: Video.

Spicy Presentations

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At least among designers, PowerPoint has a reputation as “not a professional program” in the way that Adobe software is. And while it’s true that Photoshop is a far more powerful image editing program than PowerPoint is, it is not true that PowerPoint can’t do some things just as well as PowerPoint. On a daily basis, I often edit imagery using PowerPoint’s built-in tools because it’s quicker, simpler and also non-destructive.

But the other day I heard a speaker make the case for using PowerPoint for video effects because “users shouldn’t have to buy and learn AfterEffects” if they’re not a professional video editor. And users also shouldn’t have to pay a professional video editor when they can get a usable result on their own using PowerPoint.

That speaker was P-Spice, someone I’ve known for a while and whose YouTube channel of “Spicy” PowerPoint tips, tricks and hacks has racked up almost 3 million views.

In tutorial after tutorial, P-Spice shows how PowerPoint can be used for business and for fun to create incredible animation and video effects—most of which I didn’t even know were possible.

If you’re into animation, or just want to check out some fun things you, check it out here!

Below is one of my favorite tutorials. For years when clients asked if PowerPoint could create a spinning globe effect, I always said, “no.” Well…guess I was wrong!


Categories: Animation, PowerPoint, Video.

Microsoft Hot Fix for Video Playback Issue

Most people are aware of Microsoft’s occasional upgrades for Windows and Office products that come in the form of Service Packs. But Microsoft also releases “Hot Fixes” for smaller issues and bugs that people run into.

About six months ago, I started experiencing playback issues with videos embedded into PowerPoint 2010 on the PC. For whatever reason, certain videos would simply stop on a particular frame giving a “playback error.” They would play fine in Windows Media player and fine in PowerPoint on the Mac. We tried re-encoding the videos 10 different ways, but there would always remain a single frame that PowerPoint couldn’t get past.

My friend Echo Swinford experienced similar issues. And since Echo knows more about PowerPoint than most anyone on the planet, I knew I wasn’t going crazy.

We brought the issue to the attention of PowerPoint’s development team and while it took a bit of time, they identified the issue and released a fix for the issue yesterday in the form of a “Hot Fix.”

If you have experienced the issue of a video suddenly and consistently stopping on a single frame (and the video plays fine outside of PowerPoint), download and install the fix here.

As is often the case, if you have not experienced the issue, Microsoft generally recommends not installing the patch.

And this is specifically for PowerPoint 2010.

Categories: PowerPoint, Video.

What is Corporate Visual Storytelling?

What is visual storytelling in a corporate environment?

Product photos on a consumer brand Facebook page? An annual report rendered as an infographic? The holy grail viral marketing video shot by the summer intern (or very expensive hipster digital agency)?

Lululemon, the recently embattled yoga wear brand, just hired Laurent Potdevin as their new CEO. The company has struggled recently under some bad press for corporate practices, embarassing statements by leadership and even product recalls. 

Lululemon is hoping that Potdevin, a former leader at Luis Vuitton, Burton snowboards and Toms shoes will turn the corporate fortunes and reputation around. And to introduce him to customers and shareholders, they released a simple, but well-produced video that is pure visual storytelling.

I love it.

Visual storytelling was much of what I helped Edelman raise the bar on during my years at the company. Many of you know that I recently left the PR firm to start my own consultancy. If you would like to learn how I am now working with other organizations to improve their visual communications, drop me a line

visual training presentation