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Presenting a Narrated PowerPoint Show with Apreso

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Why did "talkies" replace silent pictures? Reading words onscreen just isn't as interesting as watching someone presenting those ideas. If you can't be there to present your PowerPoint slideshow, let Apreso help you provide "live" narration.
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The vast majority of PowerPoint presentations are created for speaker support. Of course, there are other types of slide shows—for interactive kiosks, CD-ROM, even video—but in most cases the slides are intended to be shown to augment the content of a verbal presentation.

Sending a CD or merely posting the slideshow online is usually an inadequate substitute for the live performance. That's why, if they can't physically make it to a venue, most presenters opt for a video or web conference, or use a number of solutions that let them at least narrate the show on a conference call.

Now there's an intriguing, inexpensive alternative from Anystream: a PowerPoint plug-in called Apreso (formerly called Agility). With a webcam and a microphone, or a DV camcorder configured via FireWire, Apreso lets you create a narrated version of your presentation that you can post online, email to your intended audience, or burn directly to a CD.

Obviously, with video embedded the files are generally quite large, but they're very manageable with a broadband connection. In addition, Anystream provides a server solution that enables multiple streaming data rates depending on the connection, and provides an audio-only version for the bandwidth-challenged.

Two applications are installed with Apreso:

  • The PowerPoint plug-in appears as a small toolbar on the left side of the screen, and an Apreso menu is added to the main PowerPoint menu.

  • The Apreso Workspace is listed under Program files in the Windows Start menu. You can also access this application directly from PowerPoint.

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