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4 Ways to Put a PowerPoint Presentation on Your Web Site

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?

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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.

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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 the service.

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.

Flash it!

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 want).

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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Posted by 

Published Monday, 07 July 2008 at 2:45 PM


  •  » 4 Ways to Put a PowerPoint Presentation on Your Web Site

    » 4 Ways to Put a PowerPoint Presentation on Your Web Site said:

    Monday, 07 July 2008 at 7:34 AM
  • Michele Martin

    Michele Martin said:

    Monday, 07 July 2008 at 8:07 AM

    Rebecca, thanks for the tip on Open Office and flash conversion. I just downloaded Open Office to use on my new Mac and have started playing around with what's in there. This is a feature I hadn't encountered yet, so now I'll definitely have to give it a try. Thanks, as always, for your information-packed posts!

  • Judith

    Judith said:

    Monday, 07 July 2008 at 11:40 PM
  • Brad

    Brad said:

    Tuesday, 08 July 2008 at 7:18 AM

    Great post. I create a lot of PowerPoints and had not thought of using Open Office to convert them to HTML or Flash. Yet another reason to make the switch!

  • Rebecca said:

    Tuesday, 08 July 2008 at 9:43 AM

    @Michele, I think you'll find Open Office quite interesting. At first glance, it looks just like the MS Office suite but there are all sorts of nifty little features that are different - the flash conversion being a case in point.

    @Judith, thanks for the link for the conversion software to make PowerPoint compatible with YouTube; and of course YouTube videos can be a good promotion tool in themselves!  Nonprofits are always budget-conscious, however: Are there any lower-cost or open-source converters that you've tried and could also recommend?

    @Brad, it's always good to be able to make more use of a PowerPoint presentation after you've put so much work into creating them, isn't it? Do let us know how you make out! As I say, Open Office conversion is not perfect, but it is one of the better free options that's out there.

  • Dan

    Dan said:

    Wednesday, 09 July 2008 at 10:29 AM

    Interesting article with lots of great tips, as usual Rebecca L.

    I tried the SlideShare option which worked OK, but when I went back a few days later it did not work (don't recall the actual message right now). So I whimped out and simply added a link to another site which already contained the darn presentation!

    Once I get my cranium around how to use DB Surfer into a relational database in order to locate a specific cell with a value amongst all of the other tables in that data base (ouch, my head hurts already!!!!) and then convert excel files into XML in order to update a different database before bouncing the server I'll go back and see about the Flash option.


    PS. Oh for the days when all I had to worry about was whether my dining room's bay window would leak as a result of an ice dam and improper window frame installation!!!!

  • Mitchell Allen

    Mitchell Allen said:

    Thursday, 10 July 2008 at 12:09 PM

    Wow, what timing! I just signed up for a SlideShare account last week.

    The potential is huge.

    I suggest that if you are thinking of using SlideShare, take a look at lots of samples. You'll quickly get a feel for what works and what doesn't. (HInt: hi-res images <strong>don't</strong> work!)



  • Kurt Paccio

    Kurt Paccio said:

    Saturday, 12 July 2008 at 7:39 PM

    Don't forget the Google Apps solution! Upload or (better yet) create your presentation in Google Presentations. Publish the preso and copy the embed code! Sweet!



  • Rebecca said:

    Monday, 14 July 2008 at 5:58 AM

    KP, thanks for the reminder - yes, indeed, the Google Docs presentations (slides) option should be on this list!

    Any other suggestions, anyone?

  • Bill Stevens

    Bill Stevens said:

    Monday, 14 July 2008 at 7:58 AM

    Bookmarked.  SlideShare is great.

  • bruce jones

    bruce jones said:

    Sunday, 27 July 2008 at 8:09 PM

    Hi Rebecca, an excellent article on getting PowerPoint up on the web. Another way that I have been using lately if you are on a new Mac is to use the new Screenflow software. Screenflow allows you to record the screen plus adding in a video track of yourself. Great to adding commentary and a personal touch to your presentations. Screenflow also allows you to edit out parts you don't want, very helpful. I have been using it to record How to Videos for my software that I do in PowerPoint.

    Screenflow is made by Varasoftware. www.varasoftware.com/products/screenflow/

    thank you for the great article

    bruce jones


  • Yury Uskov

    Yury Uskov said:

    Thursday, 31 July 2008 at 1:18 PM

    Please look at SlideBoom.com - another way to share your PowerPoint presentation on web. SlideBoom is based on iSpring and fairly supports almost all PowerPoint features: animations, transitions, audio, video, embedded Flash movies as well as PowerPoint 2007 pptx, ppsx formats.

  • Chris

    Chris said:

    Thursday, 31 July 2008 at 7:59 PM

    Wow... nobody has mentioned:  http://www.sliderocket.com yet?  This has to be the coolest tool ever.  Sure it has a few minor issues with transitions and such when you upload your PP, but they are minor, and usually only pull out the junk transitions and such anyway...  Check it out, and if once there - head on over to www.bubblecomment.com with the http://www.slideshare.com on your clipboard and send a recommendation to your other non-profit friends to check it out!

  • Ralph A

    Ralph A said:

    Thursday, 31 July 2008 at 8:16 PM

    If you are giving lots of presentations, consider a great tool named http://www.Freepath.com. I have found that it offers a great way to mix multiple types of content (PPTs, youtube videos, audio, spreadsheets, etc.) into a playlist and then to be able to present your content in a professional presentation space. No more using powerpoint to close one presentation and to open a second, freepath gives a presenter a presentation environment for creation and delivery and then allows you to control what the audience view sees, while the present out of view opens the next presentation.

  • Henry O'Kief

    Henry O'Kief said:

    Thursday, 31 July 2008 at 11:21 PM

    Hi Rebecca,

    I love OpenOffice Impress and the Flash conversion and HTML option works fine for me everytime. Also, it looks like you have not discovered AuthorStream yet. There are various presentation sharing options unique to this service. I sugget you see Chris Pirillo's video - http://blog.authorstream.com/2008/07/chris-pirillos-take-on-authorstream.html

    Thanks for the great article!


  • Rebecca said:

    Friday, 01 August 2008 at 5:16 AM

    Wow, what a lot of great tools to add to the list - thanks very much, everyone!  And we should also mention Scribd.com, a terrific service (with a social-networking element) for sharing large files in many formats including Powerpoint presentations: You and your readers can view/download the presentation directly on the Scribd site, or copy-paste code to embed it in a web page.

  • Andrew

    Andrew said:

    Thursday, 13 November 2008 at 12:41 AM

    Please try SlideServe.com - easiest way to upload and share PowerPoint presentations with the world. SlideServe is a Free service from DigitalOfficePro and supports almost all effects like animations, transitions, audio, videom and Flash.

  • Wild Apricot Blog

    Wild Apricot Blog said:

    Tuesday, 20 January 2009 at 8:00 AM

    There are any number of ways a nonprofit can make a document available to readers online. Put the text on your website, email it, offer a PDF for download, even embed a Powerpoint presentation in a web page. Combine the convenience of online document

  • ible

    ible said:

    Wednesday, 18 March 2009 at 3:08 AM

    needs 2 make more sense!!!

  • Rebecca said:

    Wednesday, 18 March 2009 at 4:00 AM

    What is it that is confusing you, specifically, @ible? If you've got questions, I'll be happy to try to answer them.

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