Writing is serious business: the new pideo
This site is getting more search traffic for pideo, a word I made up from PowerPoint and video. That tells me many other people want to respond for increasing demand for online video while working mostly with a tool they’re comfortable with.
In my new pideo, I had another reason for starting with PowerPoint: the e-learning software Articulate, that I was messing with for this 11-part e-learning series, is an add-on to PowerPoint.
I went farther with Windows Live Movie Maker than I did for the book promo video, adding voice-over narration and a brief introductory clip of me talking to a web cam. I’ll probably reshoot it before the launch. As friends have told me, I need to work on “my TV face.”
Because I’m testing the series with some organizations, I expect I’ll make quite a few changes and upgrades before it goes on sale. Let me know if you have any recommendations.
I also used Movie Maker for transitions. Don’t bother making them in PowerPoint because they don’t transfer. Plus Movie Maker does them better. While I was tempted by all the flashy choices, I tried to keep it simple and classy. You should too.
My biggest tip for you pideo producers is to use a black background. Because the background is black on YouTube, and most computer screens, the frames bleed into it, giving the illusion of more space. That gives you more room for photos and text, though like any visual presentation, you should keep words to a minimum.
At the bottom, I added a ribbon of photos, a neat idea from an Articulate tutorial, to define the margins. To guide the audience, I blurred the images when they don’t apply.
Let me know if you’re interested in the series. Writing is Serious Business is fun, fast and flexible, fitting into busy people’s schedules and producing immediate benefits.
Each five-minute tutorial covers a different aspect of planning, writing and improving, ending with an assignment that applies the lessons to what the learner is writing that day. Learners earn stars for completing assignments and making progress. They go on scavenger hunts to find mistakes and new techniques.
I know I have a lot to learn and polish. But I’m amazed at how smoothly the production went. And I’m thrilled to be learning new tools while sharpening others.
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