Asynchronous Presentations

An asynchronous presentation is a prerecorded presentation for a specific audience to whom you would ideally present in person or online in real time, but cannot for practical reasons. While Microsoft PowerPoint is considered the default presentation tool for presentations, you may consider using other presentation platforms or tools. Be sure the tool supports pre-recorded narration. Dedicate enough time to the narrated presentation to get the timing for transitions right, and ensure that the sound is clear and the narration at the right volume. See the Technical Help section below.

A good asynchronous presentation shares most of the same traits as a good live presentation. Your presentation should not be your academic paper cut into text-filled slides. Rather, consider how you might identify themes to discuss that are supported by pertinent facts from your paper. You are giving a talk to an audience, so your narrative should provide most of your ideas and argumentation. Be sure the themes either flow or transition appropriately from slide to slide. See Methods and Tips under Resources. Use images and data visualization (tables, charts, or graphs, for example) where possible. See Use of Multimedia under Resources.

Technical Help

How to Record Narration in Microsoft PPT 2010

We suggest that you begin early since technical glitches can be time-consuming. Note: Your computer may have a different configuration and or different version of PowerPoint. If you find these instructions problematic, you may need to contact UMGC tech support or look elsewhere for tutorials.

  1. Open Microsoft PowerPoint and create a new blank presentation. Draft the visual content for your presentation. Read through and think about what you will discuss as you present each slide. Be sure to save your work regularly.
  2. Then, prepare to record narration by planning what you will discuss as each slide is displayed. If it is helpful, write out what you want to say in the notes at the bottom of the screen or even a piece of paper. We recommend that you try to keep the verbal portion to about 30 to 45 seconds per slide. Practice your verbal presentation aloud, in a clear, normal, and even-paced voice. Once you're satisfied, proceed to record the audio portion.
  3. Ideally, you should record in a quiet indoor space to minimize background noise. Do a quick recording test and listen to the sound quality of your recording. Adjust the recording level inputs using your computer’s sound controls. These vary widely, so you should consult the manufacturer’s guidelines. Also, if you hear background noises on your recording, try to reduce or eliminate those as well.

Note: Until you are used to hearing your own recorded voice, it will sound strange to you. Everyone experiences this; be assured that your voice is normal.

  1. You have two options to record narration in Microsoft PowerPoint 2013: record the narration for all slides back-to-back (see step back-to-back method below) or record the narration one slide at a time (see one-at-a-time method below). The first option will set the narration to play automatically for anyone viewing the presentation. The second option will not, so you must do that for each slide. But with the second option, you may feel less rushed during recording.
  2. Record slide narration, back-to-back method: Go to "Slideshow" on the PowerPoint ribbon (the row of tabs at the top) and select "Record Slide Show" or click the drop-down menu if you do not want to start from the beginning. Most likely, you will want to start from the beginning. Uncheck the "Slide and Animation Timings" box; leave the "Narrations and Laser Pointer" box checked.
  3. When ready, click "Start Recording." As you finish narrating each slide, click the left mouse button one time to move to the next screen. The recording will end after you record the final slide.
  4. Record slide narration, one-at-a-time method: From the first slide, go to the Insert tab on the ribbon. Click Audio, then click Record Audio. A pop-up with audio recording controls should appear. Click Record (red circle). Narrate that slide and then press Stop (blue square).
  5. Click on the second slide and repeat the process. Continue to record your presentation one slide at a time until complete.
  6. Now play back your presentation by going to the Slideshow menu again and selecting From the Beginning to review the presentation. The slideshow should progress through each slide its own, moving from slide to slide when the narration is completed for each slide. Your voice should be clear and understandable.
    Note: During recording narration with either method, a speaker icon will be added to every slide: click it once, and then click the arrow to playback what you've recorded. If you see two speaker icons, it means you have created two sound files for that slide. Play both files and delete the one you do not want to use.
    • If you decide to re-record one or more of the slides, just go to that slide and use the one-at- a-time method and be sure you only have one sound file per slide.
    • If you encounter problems, contact UMGC tech support for assistance.

How to Narrate PPT 2010 on a Mac

To create a narrated PowerPoint file in PowerPoint 2010 for a Mac:

Make sure your headset or microphone is plugged in and working before you begin. To do this, click the Apple icon at the top left. Choose “System Preferences” and then choose “Sound.” You’ll be able to test whether the microphone is picking up the sound of your voice.

  1. Create your slides.
  2. Write your speaker’s notes. Keep them brief, so that you’re encouraged to speak naturally instead of reading.
  3. Click on your first slide.
  4. On the menu at the top of your screen, click “Insert.”
  5. Then choose “Audio: Record Audio.”
  6. This will pop up a recording window. Make sure your headset microphone is selected as the sound input device—not the computer’s internal microphone.
  7. When you’re ready to begin recording, click the red Record button, and start speaking naturally. When you’re finished recording the audio for that slide, press the Stop button. Save the file.
  8. Click on the next slide and repeat the process.
  9. Continue with your remaining slides until you are finished.
  10. Do a slideshow of your presentation, listening to ensure that the audio is playing back correctly for all slides. If you want to change the audio for one or more slides, just click on the slide and go through the “Insert: Audio: Record Audio” process again. The original audio will be overwritten.
  11. When you are done, save the file. You can check the size of the file by choosing the “File” menu at the top, clicking “Properties” at the bottom of the list, and choosing “General.” A four-slide sample presentation, including brief audio comments on each slide, was a 16.5 MB file.
  12. You will need to be mindful of file size, since the audio component of a narrated file on a Mac can be very large. For example, I have seen a 48MB narrated PowerPoint where 44MB is accounted for by the audio alone. Check with your instructor if you have file size problems.