Love it or hate it, Powerpoint is a mainstay in the fire service classroom. Most popular fire service curriculums from various publishers include a series of slide decks organized in topical chapters. Powerpoint is primarily designed to assist an instructor with classroom delivery. In blended learning, classroom resources are often converted into a form that can be delivered online. In the case of Powerpoint, one of the best and easiest options (technically) is to narrate your Powerpoints.
While the technical aspect of narrating a Powerpoint is easy to figure out in a step-by-step tutorial of Powerpoint, the workflow process itself is not always easy or apparent, especially if you have not done it before.
This short 14 minute video clip will give you an idea of the process I follow. This method uses a combination of the Powerpoint, the Lesson Plan and the textbook to produce a voiceover script. I feel it is efficient and keeps things as simple as possible. The hard part is actually how to create a script. In this video we use an IFSTA slide deck from a Fire Officer course as an example.
I actually recorded this video over a year and a half ago. In the meantime, advances in text-to-speech have advanced greatly. Voiceover artists are costly and creates a time dependence on your projects. Using text-to-speech you can achieve great results by recording your script to an .mp3 audio file and upload that into the Powerpoint narration tool instead of recording your voice or using a voiceover artist.
The Matthew voice at http://ttsmp3.com does a reasonable job of not sounding too robotic and can get the job done – for free. There are fee-for-service options such as one offered by Amazon that has even better voices and control.
Have a listen: