Repurposing and extending slide presentations

Tools like PowerPoint contain several features you can use to enhance a basic slideshow presentation: for example, by adding a recorded narration or including video clips. Adding audio can be used for a synchronous session but it is more likely to be useful for repurposing a slideshow presentation for an asynchronous online audience because it gives the audience the benefit of a spoken accompaniment without you needing to be there.

You can choose to make a continuous recording of your narration or you can add sound clips to individual slides. One advantage to individual sound clips is that the learner can choose when to begin listening – for example, they may wish to read the content of the slide first. Similarly, a vision-impaired student using a screen-reading programme can listen to the text being read aloud before selecting the audio clip.

By contrast, a single narration file across the entire slideshow forces the learner to pause the narration if they cannot read and listen to everything in the time you allow before moving on, and the screen-reader user will hear the text being read aloud by their assistive technology at the same time as your narration, which can be confusing.


Use a good quality microphone to ensure clear sound. The microphone on your phone or camera may be good enough, but if not, you may need to buy one. It is worth testing by making a short recording and playing it back to make sure the sound quality is acceptable.

Writing text for online learning

Low-tech video recording