Remember Al Gore’s PowerPoint show? Well, it went and won the Oscars. Okay, “˜The Inconvenient Truth’ was more about alarming statistics than the Microsoft Office application. But it did show that data is one part of the story. How you weave media clips for PowerPoint into powerful presentation is another. There is a formulaic method behind creating a really great presentation, but it is an art too.
Slideshare is a good place to see some really cool works of PowerPoint “˜art’. Check under your favorite category and you will feel genuinely inspired to do things with the graphics, fonts, bullets, sounds and audio/video clips on the canvas of a PowerPoint slide.
Whether you are on your first presentation or on your umpteenth, it’s always better to be prepared with the right resources to back up your ideas for the PowerPoint slides. So here’s looking at 10 websites for free supplies of media clips for PowerPoint.
I wanted to end one of my presentations with a “˜Beam me Up, Scotty’ sound clip from Star Trek. I got the 11KB file from here. The site is not much to look at but it is a rich dump of sound clips from movies, TV, commercials and some special effects types too. The site has a search page, so it is easy to get to your sound clip if you know exactly what you are searching for. If you are searching for a “˜something like this’ kind of a sound, then it’s a chore as all files are listed by name only.
This is a community music site featuring remixes and samples licensed under Creative Commons licenses. It includes many tracks with non-commercial sharing licenses and some under sampling licenses. Users can of course submit their own music and remixes. The site has very good organization with a bunch of categories and filters. Also, the “Download this page” feature allows you to download your preferred collection all at once. Overall, this website has a very selective bunch of MP3s. It’s not for the run-of-the-mill presenter but more for the guy who knows what he is doing with his music.
From prankish sounds (give the farts a miss in your PPTs) to cool sound effects, this site has a good collection. With the tiny sound clips you can add sound effects to your buttons or transitions. Sound clips fall under royalty-free and free sounds. A ‘pleasing to the eye’ look makes browsing complain-free. If you are looking for a specific sound and can’t find it here, there’s a simple request form for help.
The DMOZ page on music and audio loops is worth a look. Though some of the websites mentioned there might not be free.
The ultimate reservoir of videos will hopefully not be short of the perfect clip you are looking for. With a large user base YouTube is the perfect place to find a video corresponding to the idea you want to project. For instance, a visual demo can help make your “How To” presentations to be more effective.
The Internet Archive’s Moving Images library contains thousands of digital movies uploaded by Archive users which ranges from classic full-length films, to daily alternative news broadcasts, to cartoons and concerts. Many of these videos are available for free download. The videos are grouped under sub-collections like computers, sports, youth media, independent news, spirituality etc. If the video falls under Creative Commons, the logo will appear on the left hand side of the movie’s detail page.
Nothing breaks monotony like humor; and cartoons are the best agents for it. Channel Federator is like the Cartoon Network for the web. It is a community-driven website of independent animators. From hand drawn sketches to slick Flash based ones; the uniqueness is that none of the cartoon podcasts are longer than 5 minutes. The short clips are perfect for presentations.
This is the human equivalent of the above animated one. From spoofs to extreme humor, the independent bunch of video creators takes a saucy look at everything. Right now, I am looking at a video on teamwork”¦ Could be useful for the next HR meeting. The clips are brief and embeddable.
One Web Resource for Comics Strips
This is not a top to bottom PowerPoint website, simply because clip arts and other graphics such as banners, bullets and buttons find other uses. But undoubtedly, this is a treasure trove. I find this website an invaluable source of free single panel comic strips.
One Web Resource for Animations
The site features about 13,748 free animations grouped in 18 categories for use in presentations or other web media. The site also has a little one-page section on animation tutorials. The one negative was the non-functioning search bar.
The internet is chock a bloc with freebies. The human problem is laying our hands on the right one at the right time. And with the boss breathing down your neck for the Monday morning presentation, speed becomes a vital though an inhibiting factor towards creating a great presentation. Let’s hope these ready at hand resources give that bit of breathing space to let your inspired mind flow”¦ and kickass.
Which free websites do you use to extend your PowerPoint presentation’s capabilities? Present us with your options.