September 28, 2023

From ideas to screen: How to make presentation videos that shine

Master the art of video presentations. Learn how to create engaging content with our guide, plus elevate your skills using Descript.
September 28, 2023

From ideas to screen: How to make presentation videos that shine

Master the art of video presentations. Learn how to create engaging content with our guide, plus elevate your skills using Descript.
September 28, 2023
Alex Boswell
In this article
Start editing audio & video
This makes the editing process so much faster. I wish I knew about Descript a year ago.
Matt D., Copywriter
Sign up

What type of content do you primarily create?

Videos
Podcasts
Social media clips
Transcriptions
Start editing audio & video
This makes the editing process so much faster. I wish I knew about Descript a year ago.
Matt D., Copywriter
Sign up

What type of content do you primarily create?

Videos
Podcasts
Social media clips
Transcriptions

Visuals can mean the difference between a killer presentation and a lost opportunity.

For salespeople, it’s difficult to close a deal without business presentations to back up your pitches. For marketers and business owners, video presentations help communicate ideas and share results from projects to ensure future success. 

Customers also love high-quality visuals, like branded explainer videos and product tours. They’re the fuel that drives eight in 10 people to make online purchases. 

But what makes a good presentation? And how can you engage viewers throughout your video? This guide covers what you need to know about creating video presentations, no matter the purpose.

What is a video presentation?

A video presentation refers to a sequence of visuals combined with audio to convey information, arguments, ideas, or narratives. It can be about a product, service, internal business reports, or even a topic of interest.

Video presentations can range from simple slideshow-style videos with voiceovers to more complex productions involving animations, live-action footage, music, sound effects, and more.

A good video presentation provides information clearly and concisely. But the best video presentations engage your target audience with professional video quality: a good camera and mic, skilled editing, and a confident presenter. 

There are a ton of different types of video presentation formats you can choose from, including:

  • Animated explainer videos
  • Employee onboarding videos
  • Tutorials
  • Screen recordings
  • Training videos
  • Product demos
  • Microsoft PowerPoint presentations with a talking head
  • Video ads
  • Sales presentations
  • Awards presentations
  • Webinars

Benefits of a video presentation 

These are great reasons to put in the effort to produce this type of video content.

Enhanced engagement

Video recordings—whether on social media or hosted on your website—are great for engagement and getting your audience’s attention. Wyzowl found that 95% of marketers have said video marketing has helped them increase brand awareness, 90% say it has helped generate leads, and 87% said it has helped them increase sales.

Visual clarity

There's a reason many people suggest something like "If you can learn it, you'll find it on YouTube." The presentation video format is unique in its ability to teach and demonstrate, similar to the in-person experience you'd get with a tutor or salesperson. 

The same Wyzowl report found that 96% of marketers say videos have helped increase user understanding of products and services. In short: video helps customers retain your information.

Global reach and accessibility

Video presentations are a great way to reach a global audience. More than half of people say they’re more likely to share a video with others than any other type of content. 

A video presentation is also better for accessibility than other content types. With video editing software, you can:

  • Easily add subtitles and annotations to your video footage for those with hearing loss.
  • Add an audio description voiceover for those with sight loss.
  • Change the color filters for those with color blindness.

Personal connection

Building a personal connection with your audience is critical for overall brand engagement. A video presentation, especially one with a person in the video, helps you do that. Research shows that students have positive feelings for videos presented by an instructor, for example.

How to create a video presentation

Step 1. Plan and prepare

Proper planning and preparation can help the rest of your presentation creation process run smoothly. 

Think about what you’ll say, and use a storyboard to build out a visual plan of your presentation ideas. Storyboarding your presentation, instead of making it on the fly, will help you stay focused when you fire up your presentation software. (You don’t need to be an artist; just set out the scenes in a way that makes sense to you.)

At this point, start writing the video script for your presentation. You’ll know what to say and when to say it, and won’t fill your presentation up with filler words like “um” and pauses when trying to think about what to say next. 

Step 2. Gather resources

After you’ve completed your paper storyboard and script, it’s time to go digital. With Descript, you can build your slideshows into the video editor just like any slideshow tool

To create a presentation video in Descript:

  1. Hit New project.
  2. Import any media (images, infographics, short video clips, GIFs, or sounds) you want to include in your presentation.
  3. Drop your visuals into the script and edit them into a sequence, or work scene by scene by adding a / at the beginning of each slide.
  4. Add the background of your presentation, then your script in the left panel.
  5. Add captions to your presentation by hitting the T icon at the top and choosing Captions.

When you've set up all your slides, you can get fancier and add transitions, extra media, and special effects later.

Creating a slideshow in Descript
You can easily create a slideshow presentation with Descript.

But maybe you’d prefer to create the presentation using more familiar software, like Prezi, PowerPoint slides, or Google Slides. In that case, you can import the presentation into Descript later or use its screen recording functionality. (If you upgrade your Descript plan, you can create your own video presentation templates to use over and over again, if that’s your style.)

Step 3. Record your presentation video

With your slides all set up, it’s time to turn them into a video. This step is pretty straightforward if you’ve used Descript to make the presentation slides. All you’ll need to do is go to the beginning of the presentation and hit the Record button at the top of the screen:

Setting up screen recording with Descript
Adding a screen recording to your presentation with Descript

 If, like in the image example above, you’ve written your script into the scenes, change the default setting Record into script to Record new layer. This preserves your script so you can read from it whil recording your presentation video. 

Presenting different screen recording options in Descript

Decide if you want to record a voiceover only (leaving the record option as Audio only), or add a floating head video with your webcam to show yourself as the speaker by clicking the Screen option. Either way, go through your script as the slides move along. 

If you created your presentation in another software like Google Slides, there may be no built-in option to record your presentation over the slides. In that case, use Descript’s screen recorder to film your screen with audio. The video file will be ready and waiting for you in the video editor when you finish recording.

Step 4. Edit and enhance

At this point, you’ve got the basic presentation down. It’s time to bring out your inner filmmaker and turn the slideshow into something special. 

Descript video editing dashboard in Dark Mode

With Descript’s free video editor, you can:

  • Add title screens to introduce your presentation.
  • Choose from a library of background music.
  • Change the fonts of your captions and any other text layer.
  • Add cool slide transitions.
  • Improve audio quality with Studio Sound.

Descript’s video editing is different (and easy) since you can edit the video using the script instead of a traditional timeline editor. This makes the process super efficient since you can quickly identify what needs cutting. Simply delete the part of the script you don’t want, and the accompanying video will disappear.

Step 5. Review and fine-tune your video

What makes Descript extra special is the ability to edit your audio by taking out filler words you might have accidentally recorded. Remove “ums,” “uhs,” and awkward pauses in a single click with filler word removal

If, like me, you also have a habit of forgetting to say something important, you can use Descript's Overdub feature to add those few missed words without re-recording the whole scene. The software will create an AI clone of your voice to fix audio mistakes. 

With your video presentation fine-tuned, you’re ready to save and share it with the world. Click the Publish button in the top right corner and download the MP4 file, or export it directly to a platform like YouTube or Wistia.

Exporting your video presentation in Descript
Share your videos to YouTube or via weblink from Descript dashboard

6 key elements for crafting a great video presentation

Now you know the practical how-tos of making a presentation video, let’s look at some key elements that turn a good video presentation into a great one. 

  • Clear and engaging content
  • Visual appeal
  • Narration and voice quality
  • Engagement techniques
  • Structure and flow
  • Audience-centric approach 

Clear and engaging content

No one likes feeling confused. If your presentation isn’t clear, you’ll end up frustrating your audience. A nice trick for clarity is to imagine you’re explaining your presentation to a child; don’t use big words to sound smart. Presentations that are clear from the start are naturally more engaging.

Visual appeal

Gone are the days of 360p Nokia footage. Even if you don’t have a professional camera setup, you can still record a video on a PC, phone, or webcam with high quality. But don’t forget about the images and text overlays. No one wants to try deciphering pixelated visuals—use the highest quality video resolution you can.

Narration and voice quality

Even the best-quality video presentation can be ruined by bad audio. Poor-quality narration is hugely frustrating to viewers. Prioritize your audio quality, especially for information-rich videos like presentations, and use Studio Sound to remove distracting background noise from your presentation video.

Engagement techniques

When it comes to video presentations, you should think like a salesperson. You can't expect your audience to believe the information you give them if they don't trust you. Engage your audience by telling a personal story, describing relatable scenes, or emphasizing important points throughout your video.

Structure and flow

Treat your presentation like a story with a beginning, middle, and end. Information should flow nicely from one point to the next. Do a test run through your slides before you start recording to ensure any questions don't crop up prematurely because the viewer thinks you haven't covered it (when you do a few slides later). 

Learn: Narrative structure: How to compose the best story for your footage

Audience-centric approach

It's pretty much always to the audience's benefit when you make a presentation video, so you shouldn't focus too much on yourself. Address your audience's needs and go above and beyond to answer any questions they may have. Otherwise, why would they listen to you?

5 tips to help you craft remarkable video presentations

Now we know what makes a great presentation video, here are five bonus presentation tips to create yours. 

1. Practice and rehearse

You won’t always get it right the first time, and that’s okay. But the more you practice before hitting record, the better your presentation video will be—and the less legwork you’ll need to do throughout the video editing process.

2. Invest in good equipment

Top-notch equipment makes your life easier throughout the video creation process. Replace your webcam with your iPhone to improve picture quality, and invest in editing tools that allow you to record and edit in the same dashboard.

3. Optimize lighting

Another area where you can improve the quality of your video is the lighting technique. If you have the budget, you can use a simple ring light, but if you don’t have the cash to invest in video equipment, use natural light (such as a window) behind your camera.

4. Engage with eye contact

If someone was talking to you and they weren’t looking at you, you’d probably be a little confused or uncomfortable, right? It’s the same with video. Look into the camera when making video presentations to simulate real eye contact with your audience. If you forget, use Descript’s Eye Contact AI effect to fix it.

5. Keep it concise

If you waffle on with unnecessary information or get sidetracked on a story, you’ll lose your audience’s attention, and they’ll click away or switch off. Stick to your video script and keep your presentation concise.

Elevate your video presentations with Descript

Creating an informative and engaging video presentation isn’t the easiest task in the world. You’ve got to know your audience and what they want, present the information confidently, and do it with visually appealing content.

With Descript, you can take your presentation video to the next level with an editing experience that allows you to:

  • Record your screen on a Mac or Windows device
  • Create and record slides (with voiceover) in one dashboard
  • Remove filler words with a single click
  • Use Studio Sound to remove background noise from your presentation
  • Turn your presentation into a YouTube video, or download it as an MP4 file

Take a free tour of Descript and see why thousands of creators love its video editing platform.

How to make presentation videos FAQ

How do I make a presentation video for free?

  1. Choose a slideshow software like Descript
  2. Create your slides
  3. Add transitions 
  4. Record your voiceover
  5. Edit your presentation
  6. Share your video 

How do I video myself when presenting a PowerPoint?

Use PowerPoint’s built-in recording feature and choose the “Cameo” option to record yourself when presenting. Or, use Descript’s screen recording feature and have the presentation ready for editing when you finish recording. 

How do I make an audio-video presentation?

If you don’t want to record yourself on video, use a screen recorder to film your presentation slides. Video presentation makers like Descript allow you to record a voiceover.

Alex Boswell
Alexander Boswell is a freelance MarTech and eCommerce writer, as well as a business PhD candidate. While not writing, he’s playing baseball and D&D.
Share this article
Start creating—for free
Sign up
Join millions of others creating with Descript

From ideas to screen: How to make presentation videos that shine

How to make video presentations

Visuals can mean the difference between a killer presentation and a lost opportunity.

For salespeople, it’s difficult to close a deal without business presentations to back up your pitches. For marketers and business owners, video presentations help communicate ideas and share results from projects to ensure future success. 

Customers also love high-quality visuals, like branded explainer videos and product tours. They’re the fuel that drives eight in 10 people to make online purchases. 

But what makes a good presentation? And how can you engage viewers throughout your video? This guide covers what you need to know about creating video presentations, no matter the purpose.

Video is clearly an effective way to engage your customers and convert new ones. Descript makes editing video production easy and collaborative, without sacrificing any of the power or functionality of more complicated software.
Tell your story with video. No training required

What is a video presentation?

A video presentation refers to a sequence of visuals combined with audio to convey information, arguments, ideas, or narratives. It can be about a product, service, internal business reports, or even a topic of interest.

Video presentations can range from simple slideshow-style videos with voiceovers to more complex productions involving animations, live-action footage, music, sound effects, and more.

A good video presentation provides information clearly and concisely. But the best video presentations engage your target audience with professional video quality: a good camera and mic, skilled editing, and a confident presenter. 

There are a ton of different types of video presentation formats you can choose from, including:

  • Animated explainer videos
  • Employee onboarding videos
  • Tutorials
  • Screen recordings
  • Training videos
  • Product demos
  • Microsoft PowerPoint presentations with a talking head
  • Video ads
  • Sales presentations
  • Awards presentations
  • Webinars

Benefits of a video presentation 

These are great reasons to put in the effort to produce this type of video content.

Enhanced engagement

Video recordings—whether on social media or hosted on your website—are great for engagement and getting your audience’s attention. Wyzowl found that 95% of marketers have said video marketing has helped them increase brand awareness, 90% say it has helped generate leads, and 87% said it has helped them increase sales.

Visual clarity

There's a reason many people suggest something like "If you can learn it, you'll find it on YouTube." The presentation video format is unique in its ability to teach and demonstrate, similar to the in-person experience you'd get with a tutor or salesperson. 

The same Wyzowl report found that 96% of marketers say videos have helped increase user understanding of products and services. In short: video helps customers retain your information.

Global reach and accessibility

Video presentations are a great way to reach a global audience. More than half of people say they’re more likely to share a video with others than any other type of content. 

A video presentation is also better for accessibility than other content types. With video editing software, you can:

  • Easily add subtitles and annotations to your video footage for those with hearing loss.
  • Add an audio description voiceover for those with sight loss.
  • Change the color filters for those with color blindness.

Personal connection

Building a personal connection with your audience is critical for overall brand engagement. A video presentation, especially one with a person in the video, helps you do that. Research shows that students have positive feelings for videos presented by an instructor, for example.

How to create a video presentation

Step 1. Plan and prepare

Proper planning and preparation can help the rest of your presentation creation process run smoothly. 

Think about what you’ll say, and use a storyboard to build out a visual plan of your presentation ideas. Storyboarding your presentation, instead of making it on the fly, will help you stay focused when you fire up your presentation software. (You don’t need to be an artist; just set out the scenes in a way that makes sense to you.)

At this point, start writing the video script for your presentation. You’ll know what to say and when to say it, and won’t fill your presentation up with filler words like “um” and pauses when trying to think about what to say next. 

Step 2. Gather resources

After you’ve completed your paper storyboard and script, it’s time to go digital. With Descript, you can build your slideshows into the video editor just like any slideshow tool

To create a presentation video in Descript:

  1. Hit New project.
  2. Import any media (images, infographics, short video clips, GIFs, or sounds) you want to include in your presentation.
  3. Drop your visuals into the script and edit them into a sequence, or work scene by scene by adding a / at the beginning of each slide.
  4. Add the background of your presentation, then your script in the left panel.
  5. Add captions to your presentation by hitting the T icon at the top and choosing Captions.

When you've set up all your slides, you can get fancier and add transitions, extra media, and special effects later.

Creating a slideshow in Descript
You can easily create a slideshow presentation with Descript.

But maybe you’d prefer to create the presentation using more familiar software, like Prezi, PowerPoint slides, or Google Slides. In that case, you can import the presentation into Descript later or use its screen recording functionality. (If you upgrade your Descript plan, you can create your own video presentation templates to use over and over again, if that’s your style.)

Step 3. Record your presentation video

With your slides all set up, it’s time to turn them into a video. This step is pretty straightforward if you’ve used Descript to make the presentation slides. All you’ll need to do is go to the beginning of the presentation and hit the Record button at the top of the screen:

Setting up screen recording with Descript
Adding a screen recording to your presentation with Descript

 If, like in the image example above, you’ve written your script into the scenes, change the default setting Record into script to Record new layer. This preserves your script so you can read from it whil recording your presentation video. 

Presenting different screen recording options in Descript

Decide if you want to record a voiceover only (leaving the record option as Audio only), or add a floating head video with your webcam to show yourself as the speaker by clicking the Screen option. Either way, go through your script as the slides move along. 

If you created your presentation in another software like Google Slides, there may be no built-in option to record your presentation over the slides. In that case, use Descript’s screen recorder to film your screen with audio. The video file will be ready and waiting for you in the video editor when you finish recording.

Step 4. Edit and enhance

At this point, you’ve got the basic presentation down. It’s time to bring out your inner filmmaker and turn the slideshow into something special. 

Descript video editing dashboard in Dark Mode

With Descript’s free video editor, you can:

  • Add title screens to introduce your presentation.
  • Choose from a library of background music.
  • Change the fonts of your captions and any other text layer.
  • Add cool slide transitions.
  • Improve audio quality with Studio Sound.

Descript’s video editing is different (and easy) since you can edit the video using the script instead of a traditional timeline editor. This makes the process super efficient since you can quickly identify what needs cutting. Simply delete the part of the script you don’t want, and the accompanying video will disappear.

Step 5. Review and fine-tune your video

What makes Descript extra special is the ability to edit your audio by taking out filler words you might have accidentally recorded. Remove “ums,” “uhs,” and awkward pauses in a single click with filler word removal

If, like me, you also have a habit of forgetting to say something important, you can use Descript's Overdub feature to add those few missed words without re-recording the whole scene. The software will create an AI clone of your voice to fix audio mistakes. 

With your video presentation fine-tuned, you’re ready to save and share it with the world. Click the Publish button in the top right corner and download the MP4 file, or export it directly to a platform like YouTube or Wistia.

Exporting your video presentation in Descript
Share your videos to YouTube or via weblink from Descript dashboard

6 key elements for crafting a great video presentation

Now you know the practical how-tos of making a presentation video, let’s look at some key elements that turn a good video presentation into a great one. 

  • Clear and engaging content
  • Visual appeal
  • Narration and voice quality
  • Engagement techniques
  • Structure and flow
  • Audience-centric approach 

Clear and engaging content

No one likes feeling confused. If your presentation isn’t clear, you’ll end up frustrating your audience. A nice trick for clarity is to imagine you’re explaining your presentation to a child; don’t use big words to sound smart. Presentations that are clear from the start are naturally more engaging.

Visual appeal

Gone are the days of 360p Nokia footage. Even if you don’t have a professional camera setup, you can still record a video on a PC, phone, or webcam with high quality. But don’t forget about the images and text overlays. No one wants to try deciphering pixelated visuals—use the highest quality video resolution you can.

Narration and voice quality

Even the best-quality video presentation can be ruined by bad audio. Poor-quality narration is hugely frustrating to viewers. Prioritize your audio quality, especially for information-rich videos like presentations, and use Studio Sound to remove distracting background noise from your presentation video.

Engagement techniques

When it comes to video presentations, you should think like a salesperson. You can't expect your audience to believe the information you give them if they don't trust you. Engage your audience by telling a personal story, describing relatable scenes, or emphasizing important points throughout your video.

Structure and flow

Treat your presentation like a story with a beginning, middle, and end. Information should flow nicely from one point to the next. Do a test run through your slides before you start recording to ensure any questions don't crop up prematurely because the viewer thinks you haven't covered it (when you do a few slides later). 

Learn: Narrative structure: How to compose the best story for your footage

Audience-centric approach

It's pretty much always to the audience's benefit when you make a presentation video, so you shouldn't focus too much on yourself. Address your audience's needs and go above and beyond to answer any questions they may have. Otherwise, why would they listen to you?

5 tips to help you craft remarkable video presentations

Now we know what makes a great presentation video, here are five bonus presentation tips to create yours. 

1. Practice and rehearse

You won’t always get it right the first time, and that’s okay. But the more you practice before hitting record, the better your presentation video will be—and the less legwork you’ll need to do throughout the video editing process.

2. Invest in good equipment

Top-notch equipment makes your life easier throughout the video creation process. Replace your webcam with your iPhone to improve picture quality, and invest in editing tools that allow you to record and edit in the same dashboard.

3. Optimize lighting

Another area where you can improve the quality of your video is the lighting technique. If you have the budget, you can use a simple ring light, but if you don’t have the cash to invest in video equipment, use natural light (such as a window) behind your camera.

4. Engage with eye contact

If someone was talking to you and they weren’t looking at you, you’d probably be a little confused or uncomfortable, right? It’s the same with video. Look into the camera when making video presentations to simulate real eye contact with your audience. If you forget, use Descript’s Eye Contact AI effect to fix it.

5. Keep it concise

If you waffle on with unnecessary information or get sidetracked on a story, you’ll lose your audience’s attention, and they’ll click away or switch off. Stick to your video script and keep your presentation concise.

Elevate your video presentations with Descript

Creating an informative and engaging video presentation isn’t the easiest task in the world. You’ve got to know your audience and what they want, present the information confidently, and do it with visually appealing content.

With Descript, you can take your presentation video to the next level with an editing experience that allows you to:

  • Record your screen on a Mac or Windows device
  • Create and record slides (with voiceover) in one dashboard
  • Remove filler words with a single click
  • Use Studio Sound to remove background noise from your presentation
  • Turn your presentation into a YouTube video, or download it as an MP4 file

Take a free tour of Descript and see why thousands of creators love its video editing platform.

How to make presentation videos FAQ

How do I make a presentation video for free?

  1. Choose a slideshow software like Descript
  2. Create your slides
  3. Add transitions 
  4. Record your voiceover
  5. Edit your presentation
  6. Share your video 

How do I video myself when presenting a PowerPoint?

Use PowerPoint’s built-in recording feature and choose the “Cameo” option to record yourself when presenting. Or, use Descript’s screen recording feature and have the presentation ready for editing when you finish recording. 

How do I make an audio-video presentation?

If you don’t want to record yourself on video, use a screen recorder to film your presentation slides. Video presentation makers like Descript allow you to record a voiceover.

Featured articles:

No items found.

Articles you might find interesting

Podcasting

Submitting for podcast awards and festivals? Here's what to have on hand

The best way to get through awards season is to have everything you need at your fingertips, clearly organized and optimized for what awards and festival submissions usually ask of you — plus a little something extra.

Video

How to edit short form video to attract the most views

Short-form video follows its own rules. Learn best practices for short-form platforms, plus tips for making the most engaging videos.

Video

How to A/B test on YouTube for better video performance

A/B testing can help boost your video's stats long after it's published. This guide share which tools to use and how to avoid common mistakes.

Video

How to make a YouTube video in 10 easy steps

Don’t let the learning curve deter you. You can create a great YouTube video—and tap into the platform’s huge audience—with just a few essential tools.

Related articles:

Share this article

Get started for free →