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Should I Embed or Link to a Video in a PowerPoint Presentation?

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Insert video from a website into PowerPoint

Insert video from a website into PowerPoint

© Wendy Russell
Question: Should I Embed or Link to a Video in a PowerPoint Presentation?
A reader questions what is the right choice for using videos in PowerPoint. To paraphrase, (with apologies to Mr. Shakespeare) ... To Link or not to link, to embed or not to embed?
Answer:

Different scenarios will offer different results when choosing to link to or embed a video into a PowerPoint presentation. PowerPoint has come a long way with regard to adding video into a presentation.

  • Now you can embed a video file that you have saved on your computer, or you can link to a video on an internet site (such as YouTube) by embedding the HTML code onto the slide, rather than the video file.
  • Or -- you can choose either option for a video that is saved on your own computer.

Let's look at the differences.

  • ADVANTAGES for Linking to a Video
    1. You can use a video in your presentation from anywhere on the internet, so that it will be current and relevant.
    2. When using the embedded HTML code to add the video, the file size of your presentation is kept to a minimum.
    3. You can link to your own videos that are saved on your computer, rather than embed them in order to keep presentation file size small.
  • DISADVANTAGES for Linking to Your Own Videos or Internet Videos
    1. When using your own videos, you must always make sure that the video file is copied as well as the presentation file, if you intend to view it on another computer.
    2. PowerPoint can also be "sticky" about the file path, so your best practice is to keep all items associated with this presentation, (sound files, videos, other linked files), -- including the PowerPoint file itself -- in the same folder. Then you can simply copy the complete folder to a USB flash drive to move to another location, or save the folder to the company network so others have access.
    3. For online videos, you must have an internet connection during the presentation, and some venues just do not offer this.
  • ADVANTAGES for Embedding a Video File
    1. An embedded video becomes a permanent part of the presentation, just like pictures.
    2. You can email one single file to a colleague or client for review or for presenting. No muss, no fuss (except for the larger file size of course).
    3. Many different file formats are now compatible with PowerPoint. This was not always the case.
  • DISADVANTAGES for Embedding a Video File
    1. The resultant file size can become huge.
    2. When embedding the actual video into the presentation, sometimes -- especially if your computer is not a recent model -- your presentation might grind to a halt because it is overwhelmed with the file size.
    3. You may encounter issues with the file format you have chosen for the embedded video. However, this situation has improved vastly over the last few releases of PowerPoint, so this problem rarely arises.

Related
VIDEO - How to Add YouTube Videos in PowerPoint 2010
YouTube Videos and PowerPoint

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