When you give a presentation to a group, short video clips can help you hold your audience’s interest and make your point. But you don’t want to be that person who has to fumble from PowerPoint slides to a video player and back in the middle of your presentation. Did you know you can embed video in PowerPoint slides? This tutorial will show you how. It assumes you have some familiarity with PowerPoint and with video files, but have not worked with them together.

Generally, there are two ways to embed a video file (such as a clip you’d download from Shutterstock Footage). You can embed the video directly into your PowerPoint file, or you can link to a separate video file. Embedding makes your presentation’s file size bigger, but it also ensures the video will still play if you move or delete the video file by mistake. We’re going to take you through how to embed a video.

Embedding a video with PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Video formats supported by PowerPoint 2010 for Windows include ASF, AVI, MP4, MPG, MPEG, QT, SWF, and WMV. (To play QuickTime files, you need Apple QuickTime installed.)

On a blank slide, go the Insert menu, and in the Media section, look for the Video button. On the drop-down list, click “video from file.”

Once you’ve placed the video, you can resize it just like you’d resize an image or any other object in a slide.

In addition, you can click it once to display “Video Tools” at the top of the screen, then select the “Playback” ribbon. You’ll see options there to trim the start and end of the video. You can set the video to play automatically in presentation mode, or only play “on click.” And you can tick a box to tell PowerPoint to play the video full screen.

PowerPoint video playback settings

Embedding a video with PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Video formats supported by PowerPoint 2011 for Mac include AVI, DV, FLC, MOV, MP4, MPEG, MPG, QT, and WMV. (To play Windows Media files, you need Windows Media Components for QuickTime by Flip4Mac.)

On a blank slide, go the Insert menu, click on the Movie menu, and select “Movie from File…”

Once you’ve placed the video, you can resize the video just like you’d resize an image or any other object in a slide. You can also click it once to show the “Format Movie” menu at the top of the screen, then make adjustments under the “Movie Options” section. You can set the video to play automatically, or only play when you click on it in presentation mode. And under “Playback Options,” you’ll have the ability to play the movie full screen, hide when not playing, loop until stopped, and rewind after playing.

There’s also an option to hide media controls. On the Slide Show tab, look under Set Up for a tick box labeled “Show Media Controls.”

* * * * You’ll be able to play the video right from PowerPoint, and see a set of standard video controls for starting, stopping, advancing the video, and adjusting the volume. When giving the presentation, the video will either play automatically (if you set it to) or only play when you click on it. When the video is done playing, just hit the space bar to advance to the next slide. It’s that easy!

* * * * Learn more about using video in presentations.

Shutterstock files used in this post:Background © Eric Pohl, Social network world map animation © lexaarts, Cartoon soccer players © brave rabbit.

Learn more tips and tricks with PowerPoint Tutorials at Skillfeed.