As an e-learning developer you’re probably juggling a never-ending list of training and performance challenges. Sometimes all you need to tackle one of these challenges is something quick and informal. Other times, you need more bells and whistles to get the job done. In any event, the key to saving your sanity and staying productive is having the right tools to address any training need, whatever form it takes—and that is what Articulate 360 is all about.
Take Preso, for instance. Preso is an iPad app and one of three tools for creating training videos in Articulate 360. Truth bomb: I totally love using Preso because it takes the process of designing a training video and makes it ridiculously easy, hands-on, and, well, just plain fun!
Curious what makes Preso such a great tool for making training videos? Below is an example of one I put together in just 5 steps and about 10 minutes. All I did was take some existing slides I had in Dropbox and turn them into a quick video with Preso. Preso made it easy for me to illustrate concepts that otherwise would’ve ended up being a series of confusing static diagrams or, worse, boring bullet points.
But don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself!
Nifty, eh? Think you might want to try creating a video in Preso yourself? Here are five easy steps to making one like mine. Let’s jump in and see how it’s done!
Creating a Video with Preso
Here’s how to get started:
- When you open Preso, you’ll see a blank screen that you can use like a whiteboard for sketching your ideas, or you can import images from your iPad’s photo library, Dropbox, or Google Drive.
If you’re planning to do what I did and just add a little life to some static PowerPoint slides, you can also import PDFs from Dropbox or Google Drive. To read more about how to turn your PowerPoint deck into a PDF, check out this Microsoft knowledge base article.
To create something similar to my example, I tapped on “Import Slides” to add PDF slides I’d already saved in my Dropbox.
Pro Tip: The first time you use Preso with Dropbox or Google Drive, you’ll need to sign in to your Dropbox or Google account and follow the authentication prompts to link those services with Preso.
Just scroll through Google Drive or Dropbox to locate the PDF you want to import and then tap on the file name.
You’ll see the status screen, below, as Preso downloads your slides from Dropbox or Google Drive.
- Now you’re ready to select individual slides from your imported PDF, or you can click the “Select All” option to grab ’em all at once.
Once you’ve selected your slides, click the “Import” button to bring them into Preso.
- With your slides in Preso, the real fun begins! Here’s a quick rundown of what you can do to move from slides to video.
Preso will automatically center your slide on the screen, but if you want to adjust its size or placement, just click on the hand icon, tap on the slide image, and then click “Unlock.”
Now you can use the pinch-zoom hand gesture to resize your slide to fill the screen and reposition it.
Thinking maybe you’d like to reorder your slides? No problem at all. Just click on the “Slides” option.
From here you can rearrange slides by tapping and then dragging them. You can also add new slides by tapping the + icon or delete slides by tapping the trash can icon.
Once you’ve got your slides imported, sized, and arranged the way you’d like them, it’s time to bring your video to life with Preso’s drawing tools and audio-recording feature.
To create my example, I tapped on the color I wanted to use for annotating my screens before I hit the microphone icon to start recording. That way I could just start drawing as I was talking.
Pro Tip: Since I was using a lot of green and black, I chose red to make it easier for folks to see. It’s a good idea to keep color contrast in mind as you’re creating your video to make sure annotations and illustrations don’t get lost in the mix!
With my color selected, I simply tapped the microphone icon to start recording audio.
As I talked about each slide, I used my finger to draw on the screen, emphasizing key concepts, like the direction of traffic or the shape of the interchange, as each was explained.
Once I had all of the talking points recorded for each slide, it was time to upload my video to Articulate 360.
Simply click the “Upload” option in the upper right.
If you haven’t already done so, Preso will prompt you to name your project. Type in a name and then your project will be exported to video (.MP4).
When the export and upload to Articulate 360 is complete, you’ll see the following alert.
And that’s it! You’ve just made an informal training video on your iPad with Preso!
Now that your project is available on Articulate 360, you can:
- Share it with your review team and collect their feedback
- Export it for upload to your LMS
- Download your Preso video file and insert it into Storyline, Studio, or Rise projects. Or, upload your video to hosting platforms like Vimeo or Wistia for painless embedding and social sharing.
So what will you do with Preso? There are dozens of practical uses, but some of my favorites include:
Having Subject Matter Experts use Preso during the project design phase to add more context to their static slides. This is a total design win for you as you’re trying to decipher cryptic bullet points on someone else’s slides.
- Sharing prototyped screen layouts with busy course reviewers. And, with the audio feature in Preso, you can explain the rationale for your design choices, illustrate how a course user interface will work in a production version, or just give folks a sneak peek at the e-learning graphic design goodness you’ve got in store!
- Capturing actual images of workplace equipment using the iPad’s camera. The annotation and audio features in Preso help you emphasize key equipment features for a quick and easy how-to video.
- Turning boring diagrams into fun and engaging explainer-style videos. Explainer-style videos are totally on-trend. And now, with Preso, you can make your own simple one with just a few minutes and a little creativity.
- Creating quick and easy micro-learning. Need a quick way to address a mission-critical issue (“slip and fall” safety training, for instance) or other key performance gaps? Preso is a great way to get out in front of risks … or demonstrate your team’s responsiveness when workplace emergencies happen.
What will you use Preso for? Share your ideas with a comment below. And we’d love for you to follow us on Twitter, where we post the latest and greatest news about everything e-learning.
Want to try something you learned here, but don't have Articulate software? Get a free 30-day trial of Articulate 360 to check out Preso, Storyline 360, Content Library, and more. Also, be sure to come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning.