Recently, I've started to use Microsoft PowerPoint as a lean design tool. Even though it doesn't have every feature that you need, its simplicity is a crucial advantage.
Using PowerPoint as a lightweight video tool is the "best of both worlds" approach. It has just enough tools to work with video footage, and maintains the ease-of-editing to adjust the content. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to create a display video using PowerPoint.
A display video is used for large format screens that you're likely to leave on a loop. Many lobbies have them to display information to patrons. For example, you might see them used in many restaurants for daily specials, health notices in the doctor's office, or in public transit stations.
Thanks to low-cost display panels and constantly-changing information, a display sometimes cheaper and more effective than continually printing new materials. A display video can also change more frequently—as frequently as the specials in a cafe.
Making a Display Video in PowerPoint is Quick
Making your display videos in PowerPoint gives some distinct advantages, and for many people, using PowerPoint makes the most sense for making simple slideshows.
Primarily, you get to use software you already know. Video editing programs like Premiere, After Effects, or Final Cut, are over-kill for a slideshow, they're too much to learn in order to simple make a slideshow. Even in these programs, it would probably take far too long to re-open your video editing app and replace the information, then render out the project again.
Another plus with PowerPoint is that you can get someone else to make the updates for you relatively easily: many people know how to use Powerpoint, but not everyone has or knows how to use video editing programs.
Here are the critical elements of every display video:
- It needs to play on a loop so that it feels like your PowerPoint generates a seamless video
- It's easy to edit so that any team member can keep it updated with current data
- Optional, but animated PowerPoint templates can create a sense of motion that's more eye-catching than static graphics
Let's walk through using PowerPoint to build a display video that meets these criteria.
How to Create a Display Video Slideshow in PowerPoint
In this section, let's explore how to create a display video in four easy steps that meet the guidelines we outlined above.
1. Choose a Powerpoint Template
To start on the best foot possible, it's ideal to start with a PowerPoint template that already has most of the work completed for you. If you've never worked with templates, know that these are the key to working quickly.
We're going to source a template from Envato Elements, an all-you-can-download library for creatives. Maybe you've used the handful of built-in templates in PowerPoint, but these are far from the design options Microsoft built-in. All of these templates are professionally designed with ideal graphics for display videos.
In this example, we'll use a cookbook Powerpoint template for our display video. You can imagine showing top recipes on a screen in a home goods or gourmet grocery store. This is the perfect way to engage customers, and we'll use it to create our display video.
2. Add Your Content
In most cases, it's best to simplify the template for the display video by slimming down all of the slides you don't need. In our case, I'll use just two slides to alternate between recipes.
Remember that the value of a template is that most of the design work is already finished for you. Just drop in your content to the placeholders, including images and text.
Make sure to consider how your screen will be seen. That includes finding the size of the display plus how far away the viewer will be. Consider those design choices when choosing font sizes and slide layouts.
3. Set Slide Timings
Now, let's set up the timings for the slide transitions. Let's go ahead and start to export our finished display video on the File > Export menu. Choose to Create a Video, and then find the Seconds spent on each slide dropdown.
Set it to the amount of time you want to show each slide (in my case, 5 minutes.) Consider the content you're showing when deciding on the length for each slide.
4. Render Out as a Finished Video File
Once we've finished up the PowerPoint design and set timings, it's time to export the presentation as a flat video file: hit Create Video. As long as your smart display supports playing files on loop, it's easy to throw the data on a flash drive and play it.
That's it! The value of creating this in PowerPoint is that we can have members of the team update the slideshow quickly and easily, and change the presentations out often to keep patrons engaged.
More Resources for Microsoft PowerPoint
In this tutorial, you learned to build a display video with just PowerPoint. The flexibility to edit the content and ease-of-use of PowerPoint is a great combination.
To learn more about using PowerPoint to work with video content, use the tutorials below:
- VideoHow to Create a Slideshow Video from a PowerPoint PresentationAndrew Childress
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Convert Your PowerPoint (PPT) Presentation Into VideoAndrew Childress
- PresentationsHow to Play a Video Automatically in PowerPointAndrew Childress
- PitchingHow to Create a Film Pitch Presentation to ImpressMarie Gardiner
An Online Option
Lastly, for projects where you need a little bit more than Powerpoint, but don't want to learn a full-fledged editing program, check out Placeit (also from Envato). Placeit has a browser-based slideshow maker that's great for making social media and displays.