Tutorial 3- Using the Talk-Deck PowerPoint Add-In to Automatically Synchronize Slides and Video

The Talk-Deck PowerPoint Add-In (TD-PPA) is a downloadable utility that speeds up Talk-Deck presentation creation by:

  • reading all the slide and section titles from your PowerPoint presentation.
  • automatically recording slide synchronization timings when you give a live presentation, or when you want add timings later to a presentation that wasn’t recorded using the TD-PPA.

How It Works – The TD-PPA is a downloadable Zip file containing a Microsoft VSTO PowerPoint Add-In file that is to be installed on the computer used to deliver the presentation.  Whenever you run a PowerPoint ‘Slide Show’, the TD-PPA records the slide and section titles and slide timings of your presentation onto a CSV file that is then uploaded to the Talk-Deck Creator/Editor along with your video and slide files to create your Talk-Deck.

Downloading and Installing the TD-PPA
Download the TD-PPA from this link. It will probably go into your ‘Downloads’ folder. Click on it to extract the containing folder to a directory on your computer you want it to go in (or leave it to extract in the ‘Downloads’ folder.)

After it has done so, open the containing folder, click on the ‘Setup’ file, and it should install itself in your PowerPoint program automatically by itself.  (If you have a problem call us at Talk-Deck Tech Support – 438 922 5933)

Then, open your PowerPoint program and go to the end of the ‘SlideShow’ menu tab.  At the end of the menu you should see the ‘Talk-Deck’ menu item.  Make sure the ‘Enable Log’ button is checked off.  If it is, everything should be fine.

From now on, as long as the ‘Enable Log’ button is pressed, each time you play a slide show ‘From the Beginning’ (or even ‘From Current Slide’ though there is no point to do this) , you will create a .CSV file that you can open in Excel that will contain the slide timings.  The CSV files are very small so don’t worry about creating too many of them, though periodically you may want to go in and delete any extras. (Copy the ones you use to another directory for uploading and safekeeping.)

Using the TD-PPA
We think the TD-PPA is very easy to use (your results may vary. If it isn’t easy to use, let us know.) When you deliver a PowerPoint before an audience, it will automatically record the synch track as soon as you press the ‘Begin Slide Show’ button.

If you recorded your presenter video without recording a synch track at the time, then you can create the synch track after the fact.  You have two choices in how to do this:

  1. You can either do the timing in ‘real time’, playing a video on a phone or another computer, and changing slides as you go.  This is fine but you have to listen to the whole presentation each time.  And if you blow one cue, you have to revise it anyway.
  2. You can do it the ‘Pro’ way which is what you will probably do once you start creating a lot of Talk-Decks.  To do this, just press ‘Begin SlideShow’ and flip through the slides.  Then open the file in Excel, and assuming you have marked your slide timings using the ‘transcript’ method, then just go into each timing and change the time to the proper time.  When you do this you can also:
    1. add or correct your Slide Titles if you created your titles as text entries, rather than proper title entries (just copy and paste from your PowerPoint to your Excel [be sure to ‘Match Destination Formatting’ when you Paste])
    2. Add ‘Section Names’ in Column C.  I always like to break the presentation up into sections because it increases viewer retention by breaking a long slide list into chunks, as well as making navigation through the slide list easier.

NOTE: When you save the file away again in Excel, make sure that you save it as a ‘UTF-8 CSV’ file.  If you don’t you may encounter problems.

Creating 'Proper Titles' in PowerPoint

A lot of people create their slide titles in PowerPoint as text boxes rather than a ‘Proper’ slide titles i.e. titles that show up as titles in PowerPoint ‘Outline View’ in the ‘Slide Title’ line.  This doesn’t really matter in PowerPoint – the titles will appear in the correct position in your slide.  But for programs like Talk-Deck, if you create your slide titles this way, they won’t show up in the slide list.  Instead you will get a slide list made up of ‘Slide 1’, ‘Slide 2’, etc.  If this happens you can either go back and redo your slide titles as proper tiles, or you can fix things in the Excel file just by writing in or copying your titles from PowerPoint and pasting them into your Excel file, replacing the ‘Slide N’ labels.

Problems with 'Special Characters'

Once you start creating ‘Proper’ titles’ in your slides, search the ‘Slide Titles’ in Excel file / Column B and make sure you don’t have any problems created by ‘Special Characters’.  For example quote marks in Slide Titles can cause problems because that’s what spaces columns in a CSV file.  You can fix these in either in the Excel file itself, or later in the Tab 2 table.  You can see these types of errors really quickly when you check your Presentation Slide List for the first time in Preview, and they are a really simple problem to fix using the Tab 2 table.

Uninstalling the Talk-Deck PowerPoint Add-In
To uninstall the Talk-Deck PowerPoint Add-In, simply go into your Windows (10) Settings/Apps/Apps and Features and Uninstall the ‘Talk-Deck.VSTO.PowerPointAdd-in’.  It should then uninstall itself from your computer.

Now let’s move on to Tutorial Four, which shows you to install and use the Talk-Deck PowerPoint Add-In to automatically record slide timings when you turn a live presentation into a Talk-Deck.