Monday, 15 April 2013

Turn Your Stories into Videos--The Easy Way

I love technology and new ideas for marketing and displaying writing creativity And I'm doubly delighted today to present my guest blogger Dr.John Yeoman of Writers' Village.

It's a wonderful site for writers packed with information and hosting excellent and helpful writing competitions as you are always promised a helpful critique of your story.

His learning curve in creating the You Tube video on Power Writing that Sells provides a useful step by step guide for simply turning our stories into video.

Do please comment below with your own thoughts, suggestions and ideas.

How To Turn Your Stories Into Videos  The Easy Way

A guest post by Dr John Yeoman

photo from Robgowman, Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever thought of turning your stories or 
poems into videos? True, you could read them aloud 
and podcast them. But a video lets you add graphics, 
backdrops, animation and much else, as well as voice 
and music. 

Your stories glow. The problem is, how can you produce your own quality video and post it at YouTube without a great deal of technical knowledge?

The answer may surprise you. Use Powerpoint! 

I’ve been using Powerpoint for years when teaching 
my university classes in creative writing. Powerpoint 
helps me illustrate texts, animate them and add music 
clips or background narration. It brings my classes 
alive! Powerpoint is also simple to learn, if you have a 
good manual beside you. (I recommend Powerpoint 
for Dummies.) 

So when I wanted to create a ‘class’ in story writing 
techniques as an automated presentation in my web 
site, I thought of Powerpoint. I’m utterly non-technical 
so it took a lot of experimentation but finally I 
produced a video - Power Writing That Sells - that 
attracted more than 480 views on YouTube in its first 
three days.

It’s not slick but it works. Here’s how you can do the 
same for a story, poem or any sort of text whatever 
that you’d like to transfer to a video.

First, I created a presentation in Powerpoint, using 
just a few simple graphics. I animated the sections, so 
they dissolved or flew in at the click of a mouse. Then 
I added a voice-over and manually advanced the 
sections at each step as I recorded my voice. (That’s 
difficult to describe but any good Powerpoint manual 
will show you how to automate a presentation with a 

Now I had a ppt show that would play automatically at 
the click of a button. But I still faced a challenge. How 
could I get it up on the web for public view? First, I 
tried Slideshare. That proved to be useless for 
my purposes, because it does not support voice-
overs for Powerpoint (although you can upload videos 
to Slideshare). Then I stumbled on Prezi, a new 
rival to Powerpoint that lets you make beautiful 
presentations. But again you can’t add voice-overs. 

I realised that an automated Powerpoint presentation 
will not, by itself, work acceptably on the web. 

Powerpoint slide for Power Writing that Sells
I first had to turn the ppt into a video. I needed a 
conversion program. What did I use? I tried 
Wondershare then Moyea. Both of them 
seem to be identical, except that Moyea accepts 
PayPal and Wondershare doesn't. 

So I paid Moyea around $40, downloaded the software and found the conversion from ppt to video was simple. Even for 
somebody who’s not technical.

But I still had the same problem. How could I post my 
video on the web? Metacafe offered me a free platform,
but it inserted 20 seconds of ghastly advertising at the start
of my video, totally wrecking it. 

Of course, YouTube was the answer. I uploaded the 
video and stumbled around the site until I found the 
Video Manager section at YouTube, plus my video 
URL. I plugged the code into my website. (Every 
platform has a different way to do that.) 

Lo, it worked! That said, the video didn't appear at 
YouTube quite the way I wanted. Nor can viewers click 
directly on the hyperlinks within my video. (I know it 
can be done but I haven’t yet discovered how.) 

For me, producing my first video was a painful 
learning curve but the process, once learnt, is simple. 

My next step is to bypass Powerpoint and produce a 
video of one of my live classes in creative writing. 
Could somebody please lend me a copy of Video 
Making for Dummies?

Dr John Yeoman, PhD Creative Writing, judges the Writers’ Village story competition and is a tutor in creative writing at a UK university. 

He has been a successful commercial author for 42 years. You can find a wealth of ideas for writing stories that sell in his 

free 14-part course at Writers’ Village:


Slideshare at

Prezi at

Wondershare at

Moyea at

Metacafe at

Writers' Village at

And the video that started it all: Power Writing That Sells

coming next week: How to Create a Meme
coming April 29:   How to Create an Infographic


  1. Thanks so much for the helpful article. I'm a Powerpoint fan myself and had been considering Slideshare. Handy to know that it won't handle the voice overs...

  2. Great suggestions John, and lots of helpful links too. As a Powerpoint power user - I haved used powerpoint to do visual slides and upload them individually to presentation tools like Animoto, but I might just try your suggestion out and do something nonfiction oriented. In my experience the best way to video a live class is to ask someone else to hold the camera and just run the class as normal (my kids have done this for me in exchange for payment...). Depending on how Machiavellian your children are, it might not be cheap (interns or students might be cheaper) but as long as they are old enough to keep you in the frame and occasionally pan around the room when you tell a good joke, it does the trick.

    1. Love your videos Maggie--gives me a completely new slant thinking of you sitting there serenely held to ransom by Machiavellian offspring...
      Shall look in to Animoto too. Thanks for the tip.

  3. Great article, John. I think a lot of us are struggling to create video and it is important to learn. I've done Slideshare and webinars that are recorded, but haven't gotten into creating my own videos. I just saw a course that shows how to use your iPhone to create them - I may look into that. I'll definitely check out Moyea also. Thanks for the tips!

    What I'd love to see, that would really simplify the process, is a service that you could do screen-sharing webinars on and it then gives you the code to upload onto YouTube. I'd pay for that service. :)

  4. totally agree Karen. I started looking into this when I could not record a webinar for Writers on the Move because of my Internet connections.
    I think John's way would work for sharing the content of my webinar but of course it loses the interactivity ...

  5. I liked using Powerpoint to create a book trailer. No voice-over, but the idea of doing the same for my flash pieces and poetry... that rocks! It does help that I have had some experience with video production and animation. Not a lot, but enough to play well. Time for me to get back to the trailers and see what I can come up with. Will let you know, Annie, how it goes :-)

    1. Hi Melanie,
      yes please let us know about your trailers and what you come up with. I've made small videos as Christmas presents but found it pretty hard on the eyes splicing all the sound to the clips lol

  6. Thanks, everyone. It's interesting to see that my little video has been viewed almost 1000 times at YouTube in just a few weeks, with no promotion whatever. The process works!

  7. Thanks, everyone. It's interesting to note that my little video has been viewed nearly 1000 times at YouTube in just a month. It does work!

  8. Congrats on the YouTube views. It's such a useful video. Thanks so much for sharing not only the how-to but the fact that the process can be so successful.

  9. Wow, this is so professional. It's way over my head. I'll be coming back to this often, till I get it. :)

    1. You know we're always delighted to see you and looking forward to seeing the resulting video some day soon...


Please leave your comment here: