If your organization makes PowerPoint slideshows for special events, meetings and conferences, you've probably put a lot of time and effort into creating each one. Why not get extra mileage from those PowerPoint presentations by putting them onto your website or blog for others to see?
Here are four different ways to share PowerPoint files on the Web:
Upload and Link
Yes, you could just upload a PowerPoint file to
your web space and link to it as you would to any other file. Visitors
click and download the file to view on their own computers. Of course, that will only work if all of the users
already have PowerPoint (or compatible software) installed on their
computers, so you may want to convert your slideshow to a PDF document
format or publish a link to Microsoft's free PowerPoint Viewer.
Realistically, however, how many of your visitors
will want to go to the bother of downloading and installing software,
just to watch your slideshow? You can get around this by saving your PowerPoint show as a PDF format document and linking to that, but it still requires most of your viewers to download the file to their own computers in order to view it.
When the actual presentation is
integrated into your website, as part of the online content, your visitors need do
nothing more than click and watch. Your message gets delivered to more people, more easily —
and that's the whole point of the Internet.
Get a Widget
Hands down, the easiest way to share a PowerPoint presentation on your website is through a free service like SlideShare.net.
Think of it as something like YouTube for slide shows.
Upload your PPT, PPS, or even PDF
files to SlideShare and they're converted into shared media. Copy a snippet of code
to embed your presentation directly in your own web page (or simply link
to your presentation page on SlideShare’s hosting service) and select
the level of privacy you want for each file.
One notable advantage here is that viewers can choose to watch your presentation in
full-screen format — a very useful feature if you have fine-detailed images
or on-screen text you don't want your viewers to miss. You can even choose to
sync the slideshow with an uploaded audio file to create an easy
screencast. Comment and tag functions are included on the SlideShare site, so your
organization might even benefit from the social networking aspect of
But what if your organization would prefer to keep
all your files on your own web space, rather than relying on a
third-party service? No problem; there are several more options for
getting PowerPoint onto the Web.
Publish an HTML web page
PowerPoint does let you save your presentation in
HTML, as a web page, but this is far from being a satisfactory
solution. When you've got the presentation saved in HTML
format, just upload the files to your web space and serve it up as a
new page on your site. Each slide is saved as a separate image, with its own page, so you have an entire folder of files to upload to your server.
A more serious issue with saving in HTML from the PowerPoint software is that the resulting web presentation is optimized for Internet Explorer. More often than not, it will not display properly for website visitors who are using
other browsers. Free open source software may be a stronger choice in this instance. OpenOffice Impress, the PowerPoint look-alike from OpenOffice.org,
lets you create a PPT presentation and slideshow from scratch, and it
will also convert an existing PowerPoint presentation to HTML in a form
that's compatible with a broader range of browsers.
In fact, OpenOffice even offers to export your presentation as a Flash (SWF) format.
I've just tested this on three presentations created in PowerPoint, and
it worked flawlessly for two of them; the third one seemed to get
stalled partway through the conversion and had to be done over. The
file conversion process is very quick, fortunately.
Other free tools to convert PowerPoint presentations to Flash include iSpring Free, authorPOINT Lite, Speechi Light, to name a few — as well as a host of good commercial programs, many of which will give you a free trial period.
Accuracy of the PPT-to-SWF conversion will vary
from program to program, depending in part on the complexity of your
presentation. You may need to try a few tools in order to find the one
that works best for your purposes and budget. Or get around any tricky conversion issues with free screen recording software like CamStudio
— record your PowerPoint presentation as you play it back on your own
computer screen (even add an audio commentary to the slideshow, if you
Some visual blog editors will have a toolbar
button for uploading video, but showing a Flash movie on your website
is most often as easy as uploading your SWF file to your web space and
using a few lines of object / embed code to embed the file on your page.
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