Producer is a nifty tool that’s worth experimenting with by anyone who has to do PowerPoint presentations on a regular basis.  In essence, Producer lets you capture audio and video while you do a PowerPoint presentation, allowing you to replay the session at a later date.

 

You can download Producer at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/technologies/producer.aspx.  And you can get additional resources at http://www.microsoft.com/office/powerpoint/producer/prodinfo/default.mspx.  

 

However, Neil Crose, a Microsoft MVP with the University of Information Technology at Ft. Gordon, Georgia has some other great advice.  Neil recommends that the best place to get tips and information is at http://www.producerpros.com.  There you will find a great forum with an awesome FAQ, a very good How To thread, and great templates. Another decent place is http://www.producertips.com/.  The latter site has not been updated in a long time, but the information is still pretty good to help you get started.

 

If you want to get really fancy, such as insert a test midway through a Producer session, you should consider add-on products.  For example, http://www.estreamingmedia.com/Technology.asp offers a piece of software that will actually pause the Producer playback while a student is taking a test or critique and e-mail the instructor the result.  They also have a nice piece of software that you can use to monitor how long a user watched a presentation.

 

Another great product that I use in a similar way is Camtasia from TechSmith.  I personally use the Camtasia Studio (at http://www.techsmith.com/products/studio/) and have found it enormously useful and quite easy to work with.  I also love their SnagIT screen capture program.  It’s a wonderful thing!

 

I hope this is useful to you,

 

-Kevin