How to Record a PowerPoint Presentation

The record feature in PowerPoint allows you to record narrations over slides and export the presentation as a video. This helps your audience understand the presentation better. Today, we will look at how to record a presentation for 2016 or later PowerPoint versions.

Set yourself up for recording

The main purpose of recording a presentation is to provide an audio narration explaining slide content and providing additional information. Before you being recording your presentation, here are some notes to keep in mind:

  • Ensure that your computer’s internal or external microphone works.
  • Test the recording quality before delivering your presentation.
  • Remember that in case of a mistake, it is possible to re-record one slide.

Follow these steps to configure your recording settings:

  1. First, make sure you complete preparing your PowerPoint presentation and save it.
  2. Click on the Slide Show tab.

    PowerPoint Slideshow tab
    Open the Slide Show tab to access more tools.
  3. Tick the checkboxes next to Play Narrations and Use Timings if they are not already selected. The Play Narrations tool will automatically play the narration when the slide show is started, and the Use Timings tool will display how much time is spent recording a particular slide.
    PowerPoint Play Narrations and Use timings tool
    Check Play Narrations and Use Timings PowerPoint record slide show clear tool

    Select clear to delete existing narrations and timings.

  4. Click the Record Slide Show button.

    PowerPoint Record Slideshow tool
    Use this tool to record presentations.
  5. Select Start Recording from Beginning… to start your narration from the first presentation slide. If you want to start recording from the active slide, select Start Recording from Current Slide…

    PowerPoint Record slide show options
    Choose where you want the recording to begin.

Start recording

  1. The recording will automatically begin once the slide show window opens. A settings panel will appear on the top left of your slide, indicating that you can start your narration.

    PowerPoint recording pop up control
    The recording timer will begin automatically when the presentation starts.
  2. Notice that the recording timer has different controls. The Next arrow allows you to move to the next slide to record. The Pause button will enable you to pause the recording. The timer on the left shows the recorded time on that particular slide and the timer on the right shows the accumulated recording time for all the slides. The Return arrow enables you to re-record the current slide.

    PowerPoint Return arrow
    Settings panel
  3. At the bottom left, notice the other controls that may appear faded. You can use these tools during your recording, such as drawing, writing, or highlighting items on slides.

    PowerPoint Pointer options
    Additional tools to use while recording
  4. To end the recording, right-click any slide part and select End Show.

    PowerPoint End Show command
    Click End Show to end and save the recording.
  5. A speaker icon will appear on your recorded slides to represent the narration.

    PowerPoint speaker icon
    Launch the Slide Show to preview the recording.

Re-record a particular slide

PowerPoint allows you to either re-record a single slide or the entire presentation. Follow these steps:

  1. Clear the narrations of the particular slide you want to re-record. To do this, click Record Slide Show, select Clear, then click Clear Narrations on Current Slide.

    PowerPoint clear narration on current slide
    Click Clear Narration on Current Slide to be able to add a new narration.
  2. Click Start Recording from Current Slide… to begin the recording.

    PowerPoint Start Recording from Current Slide tool
    Select Start Recording from Current Slide.
  3. Move the cursor over the speaker icon to be able to access the Play button. This tool will enable you to play the recording from the current slide.

    PowerPoint record presentation Play button
    Select play to to preview the recording.

Re-record the entire presentation

  1. Before you start recording, clear the previous recordings from all slides by clicking Clear Narrations on All Slides.

    PowerPoint Clear narrations on all slides tool
    Delete previous recordings.
  2. Start your new recording from scratch.

How to Convert Your Recording to MP4

You can also convert a PowerPoint presentation into a video. The video will include the narrations you have made on every slide. Here is how you can do it:

  1. Open the File tab.

    PowerPoint File tab
    Click the File tab.
  2. Select Export, then click Create a Video.

    PowerPoint Export command create a video tool
    Click create a video.
  3. Choose the video quality you prefer. For example, you can select Computer & HD Displays for a high-quality video.

    PowerPoint select export video size
    Choose a video quality depending on your preference.
  4. Select Use Recorded Timings and Narrations.

    PowerPoint export video use recorded timings and narrations
    This option will allow PowerPoint to include your recordings in the video.
  5. Click Create Video.

    PowerPoint Create Video Command
    Click to create the video.
  6. Choose the location where you want to save the video file when prompted. A progress bar will appear in PowerPoint at the bottom of the screen, which shows that your video is processing. The processing duration depends on the presentation’s length and the selected quality type.

    PowerPoint Progress bar export video
    Wait a few minutes for the process to complete then you can play the video.

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