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Using Video for your Presentations

           Frieda, a eNewsletter reader, writes, “Thanks for the newsletter. As always, it has great information. I was wondering if you could tell me how to get video clips for presentations. I use a couple of movie parts for some of my presentations, but it is always frustrating for me to get them paused at the right point and stopped at the right point. Is there a way or website to get video clips? I see presenters use them all the time, but I have no idea how. That's my technology challenge right now. Can you guide me. Thanks.”

Excellent question Frieda, let’s get right to it ...

Your question has two parts – getting short video clips (as is) and second, editing out a clip from a longer movie or program.

More and more, presenters are using video clips to enhance understanding in a lesson or training. Indeed, our world continues to become dependent upon a rich array of media for information and learning. When working with children who are growing up on multimedia information it becomes even more true. Although there are some days when I would like to return to a simpler time when we used overheads and index cards, I have to admit that I’m glad to see more videos in presentations, it’s a more effective and appropriate use of technology.

PowerPoint was never really meant to include screens filled with paragraphs – only short bullets and, even more important, the delivery of rich information such as with videos. The good news too is that using videos in our lessons is now easier than ever given the proliferation of videos online such as with YouTube and Google Videos.

Getting that Video into PowerPoint

So the big question is, “How do I get the videos from YouTube into my presentation (assuming that you are using PowerPoint)?” Well actually, you don’t really have to. You could just link to an online video from your presentation if you are sure to have Internet access during your delivery. However, you could run into a problems such as your school blocking the video site or that the video eventually gets deleted by the person who posted it. Your best bet is to download it and there are a couple of ways to do that. First, check out this list of websites here that allow you to simply put in the website address (URL) of a video and get a new link to the actual video file. In other words, your first step is to go to the original web page on which the video exists, copy the web address of that page, and then insert it into one of these online services that will extract the video for you.

One thing you should understand is that most online videos are in the Flash Video (FLV) format which is not easily handled by PowerPoint. If you do want to download and use the FLV files as they come, you will first have to install a FLV video player. Then, you can just link to the FLV file from PowerPoint which will then play in the FLV player when you click on the link. On a bit of a side note, I do recommend linking a video from PowerPoint instead of inserting or embedding it which results in all kinds of problems. Here’s how it works ....

What I do is simply (1) put a graphic (e.g., a video reel or camera) into the slide; (2) right click on it and choose Hyperlink; (3) in the Insert Hyperlink menu, navigate and choose the video file that you want to play. Click OK. Now clicking on the link while you are viewing the presentation will launch the associated program in slideshow mode. If you have linked to a RealVideo movie, this might initiate RealPlayer or the QuickTime player in case you have linked to a MOV video. In all cases you will have to close the video clip independently of PowerPoint (click here for more info about videos and PowerPoint).

A free FLV player that I use and recommend is called “FLV Player” and can be download from this website. By the way, a trick I’ve learned with this player is that to close it, you have to press ALT-F4 on your keyboard because there is not red “X” button on the top right corner. Another FLV player is “Wimpy Desktop FLV Player.” Although I’ve not used it, it seems to be a pretty good one and also supports Macintosh.

To avoid the FLV format altogether, you can use a free service that actually converts the video into a more common standard (I recommend WMV or AVI) before downloading it. My favorite is Zamzar (Watch a video of ZamZar in action here). Again, once you download the movie, just link to it when you are in PowerPoint. Another advantage of converting a FLV video to a more standard format is that you can much more easily edit that video if you need to.

Editing a Video Clip

Once you have a movie clip, you can use a free and powerful video editing software to get it just right. I recommend Windows Movie Maker 2.1 which usually comes with a Windows XP or Vista computer or you can get it here. Macintosh users typically use iMovie. Windows Movie Maker supports lots of file formats including:

•         Video files: .asf, .avi, .wmv
•         Movie files: MPEG1, .mpeg, .mpg, .m1v, .mp2
•         Audio files: .wav, .snd, .au, .aif, .aifc, .aiff
•         Windows Media files: .asf, .wm, .wma, .wmv
•         Still images: .bmp, .jpg, .jpeg, .jpe, .jfif, .gif
•         MP3 format audio: .mp3

Getting a Video Clip from a DVD

The most difficult thing you might run into is actually getting a video clip from a DVD movie because the file formats (VOB) are difficult to deal with and because DVD’s have embedded in them copyright code which prevents this very thing. There is software out there that you can purchase to do this such as AOA DVD Ripper. Or, you can convert VOB files into something more editable by using software such as Yasasoft or Blaze Video Magic. If you run into copyright problems, you could use software which copies the movie to your hard drive without the copyright code such as DVD Shrink or DVDFab HD Decrypter. Speaking of copyright though, I have to say that you should never infringe upon copyrights and stay within the limits of the law (e.g., educational fair use).

Other Resources

Here is a list of websites that will help you deliver more dazzling, impact full, and fun lessons or presentations.

•         PhotoStory 3. Create slide shows using your digital photos, music, and/or narration. With a single click, you can touch-up, crop, or rotate pictures and save as a WMV movie. It's that easy and it’s free. Check out a PhotoStory that my son Joe did a while back ago here.

•         Film Clips. Film Clips Spirit of America is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing short film clips from major motion pictures to America's teachers for use as teaching resources.

•         TeacherTube officially launched on March 6, 2007. Our goal is to provide an online community for sharing instructional videos. We seek to fill a need for a more educationally focused, safe venue for teachers, schools, and home learners. It is a site to provide anytime, anywhere professional development with teachers teaching teachers. As well, it is a site where teachers can post videos designed for students to view in order to learn a concept or skill.

•         Video: Don McMillan gives a short comedy sketch around Powerpoint presentations and the common mistakes that people make.

•         Must See Videos from

•         YouTube Establishes Anti-Bullying Channel. The first online anti-bullying channel has been launched to encourage young people to denounce the intimidation. YouTube has set up a site where youngsters can post their own videos and messages.

•         Youtube example of a “Meet the School Counselor” video.

•         Embed YouTube Video into PowerPoint. If you must embed a YouTube video directly into PowerPoint, you can watch a video tutorial here.

•         Zuula video search now offers searching of video sites, including Google Video, YouTube, iFilm, MetaCafe, and DailyMotion.

•         Create and distribute a self-running PowerPoint presentation.

P.S. Warning: if you search on the term school counselor or guidance counselor on YouTube, you will see results that are less than flattering. This is a brutal fact and a wake up call about student perceptions about school counselors. For example, watch this one, this one, or even this one.

On a final note, realize that when you link to a video (or any other file for that matter) within PowerPoint, the files will not be included in the presentation if you copy it to another computer or send it via email. To include all your linked files, you have to “package” the presentation. In version 2003, click here for instructions and for 2007, click here.







Sabella & Associates, LLC 2013