episode 21: Video and PowerPoint


First was words, then images, now video. Presentation design has changed and today our hosts Troy, Nolan, and Sandy talk about using video in PowerPoint – tips and tricks for video in PowerPoint – using PowerPoint as the video creation app – from technical to design, this is a great conversation covering a lot of topics all about video and PowerPoint.



What can you do to modify a video directly in PowerPoint?

  • Nolan: You can add shadow, reflection, color, correct brightness or color overlay. Basically, everything you can do to a photo, as far as customizing it, can be done with a video. You can also set fade in or fade outs.
  • Troy:  Cropping the visible area of video and using the Trim tool to set the start/end points are amazing tools directly in PowerPoint.
  • Sandy: You can set a Poster Frame if your video starts with a blank frame. Just play into the video until you find the frame you want to set, go to the Video Tools Format tab to find the Poster Frame tool. You can also use this tool to set an image from your files as the starting frame.


What are some examples where we have used these styling effects?

  • Nolan: I don’t do too much cropping of a video to fit into a heart shape–although you can… but cropping is incredibly helpful to trim off static or other noise that sometimes appears in videos.
  • Sandy: You’ve seen this — a video is filmed in portrait on someone’s phone. Now what do you do when you have a horizontal slide to work with? I picked up this technique from social media. Take a still from the video and crop and blur (using PPT’s Blur Artistic Effect) it as a background on your slide. Place the video over this background with a drop shadow applied. Now you have a background that emulates the content of the video and is not a stark color that makes the video look awkwardly placed.
  • Troy: I will stay with the ability to crop videos, which is amazingly painless in PowerPoint. The easiest example to give verbally is having a news segment and cropping the CNN ticker news information off at the bottom. The bigger use is with medical presentations and ability to crop out HIPPA information like patient name and info.


What are a few of the capabilities of Keynote and video?

  • Nolan: Even though I don’t use Keynote all that much these days, one of the reasons I did love it was how it handled video. It is just seamless. PPT has gotten much better, but I would still give Keynote the edge with smoothness. One example is the lack of flicker on starting a video… Set opacity (can do that with an animation in PPT)
  • Troy: Keynote leverages the Mac OS video playback and video encoding features. So it has supported video playback and export for many years – and it was always reliable. PowerPoint has continuously improved its video features, but I would say I am always confident with Keynote, and Prezi, with video playback. For PowerPoint, I am confident if the TLC team optimizes the video format, embeds in a presentation and sets the playback options.
  • Sandy: I don’t use Keynote at all. I’ve always been a PowerPoint first, gal.


Here is another video editing option – trim.

  • Nolan: Keynote has always had this and PowerPoint added later. Trim is the ability to set start and end points on a video… etc.
  • Sandy: I quit using this tool shortly after in came out, it was so glitchy. I remember that once a video was trimmed, it was not backward compatible. I’m sure it’s improved…I did use it today, knowing that it will be shown in the most current version of PowerPoint.
  • Troy: I had a few projects explode in file size when I used PPT’s optimize tool that made a ton of videos from 1 I had trimmed to play portions of throughout a presentation. If you optimize a video and the video is trimmed, PPT creates separate video files for each version vs. referencing a single video file and playing specified sections. But I have not experienced any playback issues using Trim and use it quite often. I also use it on audio files all the time.


A big issue is the way PowerPoint sets up the playback animation on inserted videos. Can you summarize your explanation?

  • Troy: Back with PowerPoint 2003, when a video was added we had a dialog that gave a choice on the animation settings, either on next animation click or a trigger click on the actual movie. In PowerPoint 2007, that option and dialog was removed and everything went to trigger animations, which are not what 90+% of the people want – in my opinion. I think virtually every video is either set to automatically play when the slide comes up, or starts playing as part of an animation click sequence.
  • Sandy: When someone is presenting, they can’t always be tied to their computer to start a video. A lot of extra steps are needed to get this to happen for your presenters. First, go to the Video Playback Tab. In the Video Options tab, change your video to start Automatically. Now, go to your animation tab and open your Animation Pane. Change the timing of your video to start On Click.


What about file format for video: MP4, WMV, AVI…?

  • Sandy: I’ve used all that you’ve listed. Before PowerPoint 2013, I stuck mostly to WMVs, but 2013 and 2016 handle MP4 files perfectly. It’s the best for everyone.
  • Troy: .mp4


Let’s talk about creating video with PowerPoint.

  • Nolan: I used to call Keynote the poor man’s video editor when it could do a lot more than PPT, but now you can also use PPT for editing video.
  • Sandy: It’s as simple as clicking a button. File > Export. In PowerPoint 2016, you have some great options for video quality that you can choose from.
  • Troy: PowerPoint is literally everyone’s video editor now – especially if they have a corporate computer that does not have video editing software on it.

What do we think is the next thing in the visual communication evolution?

  • Sandy: I think it’s 3D, and Virtual or Augmented reality. I see Augment reality as the next big thing, although 3D will really open up the reigns in PowerPoint design.

Resources from this Episode:

Show Suggestions? Questions for your Hosts?

Email us at: [email protected]

New Episodes 1st and 3rd Tuesday Every Month

Thanks for joining us!