Location of playback button

December 18, 2021, by Helen Whitehead

Advent Calendar #18: How to create a festive video message in Powerpoint

Today we show you a (reasonably) simple way to make a festive video message. It could be for your students, or if you’re not sure of the postal deliveries this year, even for your family and friends…

How to create a festive video in Powerpoint, step by step:

  1. Create a folder on your Hard Drive or OneDrive for the project
  2. Record a video message in Camera app on Windows, Photo Booth in MacOS, or using your mobile phone in landscape orientation (not portrait). Here are some tips:
      • Wear a headset / microphone if possible;
      • Avoid windows, lights, and screens in the video frame;
      • Try to get camera elevation around eye level if possible (books can help elevate laptops);
      • Tilt the screen so your eyes are one third of the way down;
      • Have water to hand;
      • Keep recording new takes until you get one you’re satisfied with.
  3. Move the video file into your project folder.
    • For the Camera app on Windows the video files save to:
      C:\Users\(username)\Pictures\Camera Roll
    • For Photo Booth in MacOS the video can be dragged from the app.
    • For mobile phones the location varies, hopefully you can transfer e.g. by USB or OneDrive.
  4. Download music from the Free Music archive Christmas section and keep in your project folder.
  5. Download a festive frame from here (University of Nottingham only) and move into your project folder.
  6. Open PowerPoint.
  7. Drag the video file onto a slide.
  8. Stretch it out (it might not fit properly, do your best).
  9. Trim the start and end
    • Click on the video to make sure it’s selected
    • Click on “playback”
      Location of playback button
    • Click on “Trim”
      Click on Trim button
    • Move the handles to change the start and end points, trimming away any false starts or long pauses.
      Trim video
    • Optionally boost the volume.
    • Click “Trim” to action the edit.
  10. Set video to start automatically.
    • Click on video to ensure selected.
    • Click on “Playback”.
    • Make sure Start is set to “Automatically”.
      Set to automatic
  11. Drag your festive frame on to the slide.
    • It can be hard to judge if the frame is positioned to the edge of the presentation. It should be the exact right size and snap to the edges when repositioned.
  12. Drag audio file onto the PowerPoint slide.
  13. Set it to play in the background.
    • Click on the speaker icon (to ensure audio is selected).
    • Click on “Playback”.
    • Make sure the “Play in background” button is selected.
      Play in background button
  14. Now balance the sound.
    • Click on the speaker icon.
      location of speaker icon
    • Adjust the volume to be very low, probably as low as you can get before muted.
  15. To export the video:
    Note: PowerPoint on MacOS doesn’t apply volume changes, if needed use Windows to export

    • Click the drop down menu “File” at the top of the screen then “Export”.
    • On Mac change the file format to mp4, default settings should be fine.
    • On Windows select “Create a video” then “Create video”.
    • Choose your project folder for the export file’s destination.
    • Wait a moment for the export to finish (see the progress bar down at the bottom of the PowerPoint window).
  16. Review your video to ensure it’s presentable (fix issues if needed, using the above steps).
  17. Upload to Moodle or Teams or send to your friends and family!

From Joe Bell, video content specialist, Learning Technology

Advent  Calendar 2021

Posted in Advent CalendarOffice 365Video