If you have chosen to ad-lib, the chances are that you already have a very good idea of what you want to say. This is probably because you are very familiar with your topics and have an ‘internal’ script. It is common for people who teach, present to audiences and are generally very confident around their subjects to choose this method.

Using PowerPoint slides and ad-libbing

PowerPoint slides are often used to aid ad-libbed video production and can be included alongside you in your videos as well as shown full screen when required. Another option is that the PowerPoint is just for you to use as a prompt and not shown in your video. If you wish, you can make two PowerPoint presentations, one for your notes and one for your viewers to see. For this option you must have the same number of slides as they will be advanced together.

More information on including presentations

Your PowerPoint presentation will be shown on the teleprompter when you record your videos allowing you to view each slide whilst keeping perfect eye-line with the camera lens.

You will be viewing your PowerPoint slides on a 7″ monitor at a distance of 2.5m. This may sound tricky, but so far many hundreds of videos have been successful created by a number of different presenters in this way. If the slide is more detailed (and therefore difficult to see) then you simply switch it to the full screen mode which then displays the slide on a 40″ monitor above the camera. As you are not being recorded in full screen mode you can look at the large screen to see the details of your slide.

Video demonstrations

Frequently asked questions about ad-libbing

Is practise still required when ad-libbing?

It is still advisable to practise (out loud) before your session to get an idea of how you will structure your presentation. Ad-libbed videos can easily end up longer and can sometimes go off track, so do keep a note of how long your rehearsals end up and consider breaking up your content onto multiple videos.

Can I bring my own laptop to display my PowerPoint?

Yes you can use your own laptop if you prefer as long as it can output a full HD signal (1920 x 1080)  and has either an HDMI, DisplayPort over USB CMini DisplayPort, DisplayPort, DVI or VGA connector. Don’t forget your power supply and also to disable any notifications that might distract you when you are presenting. We also have a spare Windows laptop that you are welcome to use.

Can my PowerPoint contain sound and videos?

Yes it is possible to include embedded audio and video files and play them as part of your video from your PowerPoint presentation as long as they are playing from your Laptop. We would recommend testing these in advance to make sure they play smoothly and that you are familiar with how to control them. Note that audio is not possible if you are connecting with DVI or VGA connections.

Can I use my notes to prompt me?

Using any paper or digital notes in the studio may result in a lack of eye contact with the camera which may produce a less professional result. We would recommend using the teleprompter (either with a script or PowerPoint) instead as this is generally much easier and gives a better result.

Can I script some video and ad-lib others?

Yes this is possible and it is quick to switch between these modes in our studio set-up.

What if I am not happy with how my ad-libbed videos end up?

All videos recorded in the studio can be immediately played back to check how they look and sound. When you are ad-libbing this is especially important as you are unlikely to know exactly what you said until you watch it back. If you are not happy with a recording then you can record more versions until you are.

Will l need glasses or contact lenses to read from the teleprompter?

The text on the teleprompter is approximately 1cm high and is 2.5m away from the presenters location. If you need glasses or contact lenses in this situation and you have a choice, contact lenses may be the better option (unless you opted for the anti-reflection coating on your glasses). The use of glasses is perfectly acceptable in the studio but may need some lighting adjustments to avoid reflections.

Will you help me with my ad-libbed delivery?

We can help with some aspects of your presentation, but as we are unlikely to have expertise around your subject area, our advice will mainly be centred around using the studio and the delivery of your presentations.