How to Build a Narrated Presentation

This page provides a detailed overview of our recommended process for building narrated presentations. We begin with an overview of our Storybook player, then move on to how to map out and build your presentation in PowerPoint.

The Storybook Player

Let’s begin with the Storybook player. The Storybook Presentation player is a comprehensive media player produced here at UW Extended Campus that has been designed with students and usability in mind. This is reflected in the simplicity of the user interface and its accessibility features.

Storybook allows students to access various forms of online content in manageable pieces from a table of contents located in the player’s sidebar. The player is content-agnostic, giving instructors the ability to assemble presentations using a wide array of assets, including slides with and without audio narration, Kaltura/YouTube/Vimeo videos, screencast recordings, basic animations, self-assessment quizzes, and HTML content. Storybook gives you the flexibility to curate content and present materials in a meaningful, pedagogically sound manner.

The media player also has a built-in quiz engine that you can use to integrate formative self-assessments throughout your presentations. The quiz engine accommodates various forms of question types including true/false, multiple-choice, multiple select, fill-in-the-blank, and short answer.


You can switch between different views using the navigation buttons just above the preview. Click on the info dots to read a description of each part of the interface.

As stated above, Storybook supports a wide array of content. Below is a list of the page types and examples of their uses. As a faculty member working with Extended Campus, you won’t need to worry about the implementation details of each page type, we will take care of that. The intent of this list is to give you ideas of what is possible.

Slide Type Details
Slides with or without audio narration
  • The most commonly used Storybook page type
  • Used for when paring narration with a slide
  • Uses the same playback controls as videos
Bundles (basic animation)
  • A set of images that play in sequence along with audio
  • Good for building simple diagrams or a series of bullets
  • Good for adding annotations as you narrate
Video
  • Used for anything that comes in video form:
    • Screencasts
    • Lightboard presentations
    • Standard video content (Introductions, interviews, demonstrations, etc)
    • Animations
    • Drawings/written words
  • Supports videos from most common sources such as YouTube, Vimeo and Kaltura; be sure to discuss using videos from external sources with a Media Team member before selecting them
Quiz
  • Useful for students to quickly check their comprehension of topics just presented
  • Supports all basic question types (true/false, multiple-choice, multiple-select, fill in the blank and short answer)
  • All questions support feedback for correct and incorrect answers
  • Intended for Self-assessment use; Storybook does not send data to the Gradebook
HTML Document
  • Custom small HTML documents created by the Media Team can be embedded into presentations
  • Useful for custom interactive tools and quickly supporting new content types

The Storybook player has an author profile area that displays a short bio and image of the author. If you create a narrated presentation, you’ll be asked to provide both. The bio should be short and cover your professional and educational background. Your bio image should be roughly 300px x 300px or larger.

Pending…


Production Process

Slide Development

Although you will map out and build your presentation content in PowerPoint, it’s important to remember that you are not constructing a PowerPoint presentation. It is a narrated presentation that will be delivered to students via the Storybook player; PowerPoint is just the building tool.

PowerPoint Template

To make the process as easy as possible, we created a PowerPoint template specifically for developing narrated presentations for the Storybook player. All of the new slide options are reflective of different types of media you can include in your presentation. We highly recommend using it when developing your narrated presentations, as its framework and design is reflective of the Storybook player. Please watch the video below for a detailed walkthrough of how to use the template to build your presentation.

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You can download the PowerPoint template file with the button below.

storybook_presentation_template.pptx 68kb

Images and Graphics

Pending….

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PowerPoint Audio Recording – MacResponsive image

A few things to do every time you sit down to record narrations.

Card image cap

Always un-plug laptop computers during recording. This will help avoid any ground Loop hum issues.

Card image cap

Find a quiet place and time to record.

Card image cap

Silence notifications on your Computer/Phone or any other devices near you when recording.

 

The Headset

....

Logitech N390 Headset

The Media Team will provide a USB headset for you to use to record your narrations. You can use other headsets if you have them, but we highly recommend that it is:

  1. A headset style microphone. Desk microphones and microphones that are part of your laptop or webcam will not produce the recording quality we strive for.
  2. Connected via USB. This simplifies a lot of the configuration and setup of microphones.
  3. Good Quality. If you are unsure how to judge the quality of your microphone, feel free to send in a sample recording for the Media Team to listen to.

The directions below apply to all microphones, but some specifics about controls on the microphone will vary among the different models.

 

Connecting

....
Plug the headset into an available USB port on your computer. It will take a few moments to be recognized and ready. On Windows you may see a notification in the lower right corner of your screen telling you that Windows has recognized the headset, or that it is configuring Windows to use the headset.

Microphone Placement

....

Placement of the headset’s microphone is very important, both to ensure good quality audio, and to avoid any unwanted blowing on the microphone.

Headset Controls

....

When using the provided Logitech USB Microphone, there are both Volume controls for the headset and a Mute toggle button for the microphone on the microphone’s cable. The + and – buttons control the volume of the headset speakers, and do not affect the recording volume of the Microphone. The big silver button (with the Logitech Logo) toggles Microphone Mute.

The microphone is muted when the red LED is flashing. Press the Mute button to toggle mute on and off.

The Recording Process

The rest of this document is split into two sections below corresponding to the version of PowerPoint you are using.

Important: Before opening PowerPoint and recording your narration, you should verify that your computer is using the headset as the input device. Many computers have webcams or other microphones connected to them, and the computer may default to using one of those instead of the headset.

Every time you do a recording session, do the following to verify that you are using the correct microphone:

Responsive image

From the Apple Menu in the upper left side of your menu bar, select System Preferences

Responsive image

  1. Click on the sound icon in the System Preferences window.
  2. Navigate to the Input tab.
  3. Select the Logitech USB Headset to make it the active recording device.
  4. Close the System Preferences and launch PowerPoint to begin your recording session.

Note that this is also the place you will go if you need to turn down the input level of the headset microphone.

  1. Open your presentation in PowerPoint.
  2. Click the Slide Show tab.
  3. Click the Record Narration button in the Presenter Tools section. This will take you directly into fullscreen presenting mode and begin recording from your microphone.
  4. At this point, you are now recording your narration. Pause for a few seconds before you begin speaking your narration. This gives your computer time to catch up, which makes sure nothing will be missing from the very start of your recording.


While you are recording your narration, only proceed forward in your presentation; never go backward. If you need to re-record a slide, follow the directions below for re-recording narration. When recording your narration, PowerPoint creates an individual audio file for each slide. This means that there is a momentary pause in the recording when you go the next slide. It may not seem like much, but in our experience, that pause can prevent the recording of one or more words that are essential to understanding the narration. To prevent this from happening, be sure to stop narrating a few seconds before and after proceeding to the next slide.

This may be a hard habit to get used to if you are experienced with doing smooth, mid-sentence slide transitions when giving presentations to classes or colleagues. Because of this, we recommend doing a few practice slide transitions to reinforce the habit.


When you have finished your recording session, end it by pressing the Escape key.


Re-recording the narration of a slide or of an entire presentation is basically the same as doing the initial recording with a few minor differences.

To re-record the narration for a specific slide, do the following:

  1. Navigate to the slide you would like to re-record.
  2. Go to the Slide Show tab.
  3. Click the Record Narration button in the Presenter Tools section. Like before, this will send you directly into presenting mode with narration recording active.
  4. Record the new narration for the slide.
  5. Important: To end your re-recording of the slide, press the Escape key to end the narration session. If you navigate to the next slide in the presentation, PowerPoint will instantly delete and overwrite any narration that was previously on that slide.

To record a narration in multiple sessions, do the following:

  1. Record your narration as usual, stopping at a point of your choosing.
  2. When you return to finish the narration, navigate to the slide you would like to begin recording on.
  3. Go to the Slide Show tab.
  4. Click the Record Narration button in the Presenter Tools section. Like before, this will send you directly into presenting mode with narration recording active.
  5. Record the new narration for the slide and any subsequent slides.
  6. To stop recording, press the Escape key.

It is very important to check your recording and make sure it sounds alright before sending it in or moving on to the next presentation.

Issues to Listen For

  • Hissing, humming, or other background noise
  • The narration being too quiet.
  • The narration being too loud.
  • That there is not a lot of unwanted background noise in the recording.
  • The narration being cut off at the beginning or end of the recording.

Quality Check Process:

  1. Navigate to a slide with narration on it.
  2. Hover your cursor over the speaker icon in the lower right of the slide. This will bring up playback controls for that recording.
  3. Click the Play button and listen for any issues.
  4. Inspect a few more slides in your presentation. A random sampling should be a good indication of the overall audio quality of the presentation.


PowerPoint Audio Recording – WindowsResponsive image

A few things to do every time you sit down to record narrations.

Card image cap

Always un-plug laptop computers during recording. This will help avoid any ground Loop hum issues.

Card image cap

Find a quiet place and time to record.

Card image cap

Silence notifications on your Computer/Phone or any other devices near you when recording.

 

The Headset

....

Logitech N390 Headset

The Media Team will provide a USB headset for you to use to record your narrations. You can use other headsets if you have them, but we highly recommend that it is:

  1. A headset style microphone. Desk microphones and microphones that are part of your laptop or webcam will not produce the recording quality we strive for.
  2. Connected via USB. This simplifies a lot of the configuration and setup of microphones.
  3. Good Quality. If you are unsure how to judge the quality of your microphone, feel free to send in a sample recording for the Media Team to listen to.

The directions below apply to all microphones, but some specifics about controls on the microphone will vary among the different models.

 

Connecting

....
Plug the headset into an available USB port on your computer. It will take a few moments to be recognized and ready. On Windows you may see a notification in the lower right corner of your screen telling you that Windows has recognized the headset, or that it is configuring Windows to use the headset.

Microphone Placement

....

Placement of the headset’s microphone is very important, both to ensure good quality audio, and to avoid any unwanted blowing on the microphone.

Headset Controls

....

When using the provided Logitech USB Microphone, there are both Volume controls for the headset and a Mute toggle button for the microphone on the microphone’s cable. The + and – buttons control the volume of the headset speakers, and do not affect the recording volume of the Microphone. The big silver button (with the Logitech Logo) toggles Microphone Mute.

The microphone is muted when the red LED is flashing. Press the Mute button to toggle mute on and off.

The Recording Process

The rest of this document is split into two sections below corresponding to the version of PowerPoint you are using.

Important: Before opening PowerPoint and recording your narration, you should verify that your computer is using the headset as the input device. Many computers have webcams or other microphones connected to them, and the computer may default to using one of those instead of the headset.

Every time you do a recording session, do the following to verify that you are using the correct microphone:

  1. Right click the sound icon in your task bar and select Recording Devices
  2. On the recording tab, you will see all of the the microphones that are connected to your computer. Right click the Logitech USB Headset and select Set as Default Device
  3. Right click every other microphone one by one and select Disable to prevent PowerPoint from being able to use these microphones for recording.
  4. Click Apply and then OK to apply the changes, then close the sound control panel.
  5. launch PowerPoint and begin your recording session.

...

To re-enable microphones for use in other situations do the following:

  1. Right click the sound icon in your task bar and select Recording Devices
  2. Navigate to the Recording tab. If you don’t see any disabled microphones, right click in the empty space in the window and choose Show Disabled Devices
  3. Right click the microphone you want to enable and select Enable optionally, you can also select Set as Default Device from the same right click menu
  4. Click Apply and then OK to apply the changes, then close the Sound control panel.

  1. Open your presentation in PowerPoint.
  2. Click the Slide Show tab.
  3. Click the bottom half of the Record Narration button. This will open a menu that allows you to choose to either record from the beginning of the presentation, or from the slide you are you currently have selected and onward. Choose the item that best fits your needs.

  4. After selecting your recording option, a menu will appear. Make sure Narrations and laser pointer is checked, otherwise no audio will be recorded. You can ignore the “Slide and animation timing” checkbox. Click Start Recording to begin recording your narration.

  5. Once you begin recording, pause for a few seconds before you speak. This gives your computer time to catch up, which makes sure that nothing will be missing from the very start of your recording.

While you are recording your narration, only proceed forward in your presentation; never go backward. If you need to re-record a slide, follow the directions below for re-recording narration.

When recording your narration, PowerPoint creates an individual audio file for each slide. This means that there is a momentary pause in the recording when you go the next slide. It may not seem like much, but in our experience, that pause can prevent the recording of one or more words that are essential to understanding the narration. To prevent his from happening, be sure to stop narrating a few seconds before and after proceeding to the next slide.

This may be a hard habit to get used to if you are experienced with doing smooth, mid-sentence slide transitions when giving presentations to classes or colleagues. Because of this, we recommend doing a few practice slide transitions to reinforce the habit.

When you have finished your recording session, end it by pressing the Escape key.

Re-recording the narration of a slide or of an entire presentation is basically the same as doing the initial recording with a few minor differences.

To re-record the narration for a specific slide do the following:

  1. If you are currently in a recording session recording narration, press the Escape key.
  2. Navigate to the slide that you would like to re-record.
  3. Go to the Slide Show tab.
  4. Click the lower half of the Record Slide Show button.
  5. Click Start Recording from Current Slide…
  6. Verify that the “Slide and animation timing” checkbox is checked.
  7. Click Start Recording.
  8. Record the new narration for that slide.
  9. Important: To end your re-recording of the slide, press the Escape key to end the narration session. If you navigate to the next slide in the presentation, PowerPoint will instantly delete and overwrite any narration that was previously on that slide.

To record narration in multiple sessions do the following:

  1. Record your narration as usual, stopping at a point of your choosing.
  2. When you return to finish the narration, navigate to the slide you would like to begin recording on.
  3. Go to the Slide Show tab.
  4. Click the lower half of the Record Slide Show button to bring up a Menu.
  5. Click Start Recording from Current Slide…
  6. Verify that Slide and animation timing checkbox is checked.
  7. Click Start Recording.
  8. Record the new narration for the slide, and any subsequent slides.
  9. To stop recording, press the Escape key.

  1. Navigate to a slide with narration on it.
  2. Hover your cursor over the speaker icon in the lower right of the slide. This will bring up playback controls for that recording.
  3. Click the Play button and listen for any issues.
  4. Inspect a few more slides in your presentation. A random sampling should be a good indication of the overall audio quality of the presentation.

Note: If your headset is plugged in, the audio may play in the headset and not on your usual speakers.

Published on March 13, 2020 at 11:36:23 am CDT. Last modified on August 18, 2020 at 2:26:48 pm CDT.