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.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

 

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 <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />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