Videos can enhance the learning experience in the classroom by adding more punch to a message, humor, or just give the instructor and students a break.

I switched to a Macbook Pro back in September 2009 because of the simplicity, connectivity with the iPhone, and better presentations using Keynote.   However the majority of students in my Instructor Development Workshops still use PowerPoint 2003 or 2007, so I still have to teach for the PC.  This blog post is written for those who are using Microsoft PowerPoint. However, if you are using Keynote on a Mac let me know and I will share how to put videos in  your presentation with minimal effort.

In my experience with using videos and watching others make mistakes I have figured out how to insert them to where they play consistently, require minimal effort, and transition to the next point without delay.  It takes practice, patience, and a little can DO attitude.

Here are some the mistakes I’ve made using video in the classroom.

1. Playing the video directly from YouTube

A video played right from YouTube demands that the classroom have an Internet connection to play the video.  The first time I tried this the video kept cutting in and out which didn’t clearly communicate the point I was trying to make.  Everyone seemed frustrated even though I still wanted to play the video (cause I thought it was SOOO good).  You can always share the link or the name of the YouTube video but it just isn’t the same as being played live in class.

2. Exiting PowerPoint to play the video from a folder

If you have stored or downloaded a video to play from your computer and have to exit PowerPoint, search for the video, click on the video, wait for the program to open, and finally play the video you have wasted valuable classroom time.  The energy fizzles, students get distracted, and the instructor may even blame the technology for taking too long.  Once the video finishes then the instructor must exit the video player and re-open the PowerPoint at the slide where he/she left off.  Have you ever witnessed this?  It is painful for both instructor and students if there is any glitch in this tedious process.

3. Playing a DVD

This one is the biggest faux pas in my opinion.  When it’s time to insert the DVD the instructor exists the PowerPoint, locates the DVD, opens the DVD drive, inserts the DVD and waits for the DVD to begin playing.  It is extremely obvious when this has not been practiced.  Sometimes the DVD drags because it is being played from the DVD and not the hard drive, as well as fighting for resources with PowerPoint and any other open programs.  I think all videos should be converted to another format like .mpeg, .avi or another format that is compatible with PowerPoint.  This may require you to hire someone extra but the time saved and the value added to your presentation is worth every penny.  If can’t find a better solution at the very least have the DVD player on the laptop open with the movie ready to be played instead of taking more time to insert the disc and waiting for the program to start.

The best method for playing video in a presentation

Here is what I have found to be the best solution to playing videos in the classroom step by step:

1.  Download from YouTube

There are millions of videos to choose from that are hosted on YouTube however make sure to get permission from the producer of the video before you stick it in your presentation. Also make sure that you credit the source.  There are several software programs or online sites to choose from that help you download a video.  Check out Tooble.TV, my new favorite program to download videos from YouTube.  You are welcome to use any videos I have on YouTube to download.

2.  Insert the video as an animation effect

Watch this video from our VIP library that demonstrates how to insert a video into a PowerPoint presentation as an animation effect.

Powerpoint: Embedding Video

[flowplayer id=47 width=600 height=400]

Here are some examples of videos you can add into your presentation:

  1. Screen capture videos. Record a video prior to the presentation using Camtasia of what you want to demonstrate on your computer ahead of time.  This is extremely helpful if you want to demonstrate a point from the internet.  Do it ahead of time to save your clients money on the Internet connection that may or may not work when you arrive.
  2. Interviews.  You can’t bring everyone with you to share their experiences.  Record some interviews with a Flip video camera, stitch them together using video editing software, and insert them into the PowerPoint.


What other videos can you put into your PowerPoint?

How have you seen other instructors use PowerPoint in the classroom?

Please share  your experiences.  That is the only way we can learn from one another.


Organizations bring in Doug Devitre from St. Louis, Missouri USA when they want to dramatically increase operational performance, create breakthrough value propositions, and serve customers beyond geographical constraints on a minimal budget. For more than a decade he has been setting trends with how organizations engage customers with social media, video marketing, and custom-built software applications. Doug’s book Screen to Screen Selling published by McGraw Hill pioneered the way sales professionals sold homes without being physically present before the COVID-19 pandemic. He is one of a select few who have earned the Certified Speaking Professional Designation from the National Speakers Association and has experience as a REALTOR.

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