Thursday, December 11, 2014

SlideTalk unveils Credits and a new set of tools for marketing your video productions

Today we published a new version of SlideTalk with many functions to provide you more flexibility in your productions and more tools to help you manage and market your productions.

Read the complete announcement here!

Flexible credit system instead of subscriptions

We moved away from subscriptions to provide a more flexible system based on credits. Just fill your account with credits and then you can choose, for each SlideTalk individually, how to publish it.


Full control of video before and after publishing

You can now edit the title and description of a video even after publishing, just click on "manage" next to it on your SlideTalk homepage. You can also remove videos from youTube directly from SlideTalk.


New video page to help you marketing your work

The video page on the SlideTalk homepage has been improved and now also features the video title, description and tags, to provide you full control on how your video is presented and help you marketing your work.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Manon, SlideTalk's new French voice, brings narration to a new level

french flag

At SlideTalk we are proud to add the new French voice Manon to our multilingual portfolio, already counting 79 voices in 26 languages.


Manon is a special voice as it has been developed in a different way and with a very clear gol in mind: bring narration with synthetic voices to a whole new level.





Here is as Acapela Group puts it:

It always begins the same way. A speaker records over several days a large corpus of very different texts, under the close scrutiny of our linguists. These recordings become the raw material necessary to create a synthetic voice and must cover all the possible sounds of a  language. The recordings will then be sliced, tagged and organized into a voice database which, once integrated into the text-to-speech engine, will be able to transform text into speech, in real time.
But Manon’s voice is on a grander scale. We have made additional recordings, based on an enriched corpus of text. The voice database is therefore more comprehensive, allowing the text’s sense and meaning to be even better conveyed.
 
You can try the voice Manon right away on SlideTalk and hear for yourself what difference a voice can make.

 
Or you can listen to a sample of Manon here:
 

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Promoting an app via SlideTalk

Here is an example of a SlideTalk video promoting an app. Click on the image below to go to the video page.
agreelet, the micro-agreements app
Promote your own app using SlideTalk!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Slideshare to video with automatic voiceover

Did you know that SlideTalk allows you to convert any downloadable Slideshare presentation into a talking video, with automatic voiceover? Here is why you should do it, and how you do it:

Tutorial: converting slideshare to talking presentations
Click on picture to see the tutorial

Monday, May 26, 2014

Talking videos for your micro-lectures: the 90-seconds tutorial

You have powerpoint presentations and you have slides, but how to publish them rapidly and efficiently as a engaging talking videos?
Spare 90 seconds of time from you busy day to watch this tutorial, that's all you need to know:


You can start creating your SlideTalk videos today at www.slidetalk.net. Each user gets possibility to publish 6 videos for free. Get started now!

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Genuine bilingual voice American English / Spanish English

Today we add two new voices to our portfolio:

Rod, American English male voice

Rodrigo, American Spanish male voice

What is special about these voices is that they were recorded by the same speaker, a truly bilingual American English / American Spanish voice talent, providing you therefore the possibility to switch between English and Spanish in the same presentation seamlessly, using the same voice.

Here is an example of a little demonstration video introducing the two voices. Click on the image to go to the video page:

Rod & Rodrigo introduction video

Sunday, May 18, 2014

4 new background music tracks available on SlideTalk

We just added 4 new background music tracks to SlideTalk.

These tracks are available to all users to be selected as background music for the videos that you create with SlideTalk, to add more variations and moods. These new tracks can be chosen from the Create SlideTalk page, as with the other tracks. The complete list of all music tracks currebtly available at SlideTalk is available here.

The new tracks are:



These tracks come from the Incompetech website, check here for Creative Common attribution.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sharing micro-lectures as talking videos, the rapid way

Micro lectures are a way of packaging knowledge on a specific and well-defined subject into small manageable pieces of information. When shared on the internet, micro lectures are typically shared as video.

Micro-lectures and micro-learning are getting more and more popular as we are becoming more and more aware of the limits of the attention span, particularly when speaking about lectures consumed as videos on a computer or portable device. Micro-lectures, by being short in nature and by focusing only on one well-defined topic or aspect of a topic, provide a way for learners to get exactly what they need, no more no less.

Micro-lectures, beside fitting the attention span, offer another advantage by focusing on one particular piece of information, allowing learners to choose what they need to learn and when to learn it. In other words, they offer what is often called just-in-time learning.

From a lecturer point of view, it is important that producing micro-lectures to be shared on the internet do not evolve into macro-project. Otherwise the equation becomes unsustainable. The work of compressing and structuring information on a subject so that it fits into few minutes is hard enough, there is no need to add additional complication in the technical realization of the project.

SlideTalk is a helpful resource in this sense, as it allows to build a talking video by just using slides or images and a script. The slides are converted into a video and the script into an automatic voiceover, and the resulting video is made available on YouTube, ready to be embedded and shared, or made available for download.

Here is how a typical authoring session with SlideTalk looks like, where you can see the slides and the script for the automatic voiceover being typed next to each picture:

SlideTalk example

And here are few examples of micro-lectures on different topics, created with SlideTalk:
Now it's your turn to start creating Micro-lectures, the rapid way!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Building talking videos as a way to learn

The way to the brain is through the heart and senses


Involvement as a cornerstone of learning can be found in old Chinese proverbs (“Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand”) as much as in more recent theories of learning (as for instance Bloom’s taxonomy and its more recent derived works).

From the learner’s perspective, to get involved in learning means to abandon the passive role of the learner and to adopt an active role instead, by engaging with creativity, senses and emotions into the topic. The passion and the creativity put into the learning activity will help making this activity becoming a part of the learner's own experience, helping the learner in remembering and understanding the topic.
From the teacher or mentor perspective, a successful involvement of learners could be expressed as reaching the brain by activating the heart and the senses.

Caption image - word cloudA powerful mean of activating learners is to have them describing and re-telling the topic that they are learning on from a particular perspective. By preparing an abstract, by applying the knowledge to an example or by using the knowledge to analyze and evaluate a particular situation. For instance in a learning situation about a company policy, a learner might be asked to analyze how the policy would apply to a particular situation (as in a simulation). In another example, for instance a learning situation about physics, a student might be asked to describe how a force would affect a system in a particular situation (apply the theory by predicting a result, and then verify the validity of the prediction).

Using Talking Video as a learning experience


We will now focus on the practice of involving learners by letting them building presentations that re-tell a learning experience from a particular angle, for instance by highlighting a particular aspect or by describing a particular case.

The presentation is an interesting format as it stimulates learners to focus on several aspects, and developing related skills:

  • Structure of the presentation, which helps the learner to structure her own knowledge on the topic
  • Conciseness of the material presented, which helps the learner to sort and prioritize her knowledge on the topic 
  • Graphical aspects, which helps the learner to focus on analogical and associative thinking connecting the new knowledge with preexisting knowledge

Using talking videos as format for the presentations, as the ones created at slidetalk.net, will also require the learner to provide a script for the presentation. The text-to-speech will later turn the script into the voiceover for the presentation. Writing the script to the presentation helps developing another skill:

  • Provide a script for the presentation, which helps the learner to get a higher view over her own knowledge by making other skills (structure, choice of material and graphical aspects) cooperate as a single functional unit

The planning and production of a talking video using the SlideTalk service will prove to be an engaging and rich learning experience for the learners. The learner will also be able to experiment in using other communicative tools like switching between voices (using different personas to tell different parts of the story) or using background music to establish a mood.

SlideTalk is designed to hide all technical difficulties from the learner, helping to keep focus on creating, structuring and presenting content and removing distracting technical details.

More on SlideTalk as authoring tool for talking videos


To learn more about what SlideTalk does and how it can be used in your learning environment, please look at the SlideTalk homepage and at the following talking videos:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2nd April 2014: World Autism Awareness Day

Tomorrow, 2nd April 2014 is the World Autism Awareness Day. We celebrate it by sharing an article we published one year ago on elearningindustry.com about Talking Social Stories, a device used to prapare children with autism about what is planned ahead to reduce discomfort, distress and conflicts.

The following SlideTalk video exemplifies Talking Social Stories by explaining what happens during a car drive and why is it important to wear seat belts. Click on the picture to open the video page.



You can create your own Talking Social Story video at slidetalk.net. Try today!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Market your App with a talking video - free template included

You have built the world greatest app and you have published it on the Store. Now it is time to start market your application, time to show to the whole world how great is your app.

Talking videos are a very rapid and effective way to provide an overview or a tutorial for your app.
With SlideTalk you do not need to set up a big project or use a microphone to create a talking video, you only need to capture pictures (for instance screenshots or scenarios) and provide a text script. SlideTalk will convert the script into an automatic voice-over, and it will add the music that you choose and publish the video on YouTube for you, ready to be shared online.

This is a straightforward and efficient way to promote your app.

Here you can watch an example of a promotional talking video for a Windows Phone app created using SlideTalk.

Click to open the video page

To create a similar talking video to promote your app do as follow:

  1. Download and edit this PowerPoint template file. Then edit it by replacing the framed images with your own screenshots and modifying the text and comments for each slide.
  2. Login to SlideTalk or create a new account using the "Log In" link here above. Each user gets the possibility to publish 6 SlideTalk videos for free.
  3. Create a new SlideTalk video and choose upload of your edited PowerPoint file.
  4. Edit, preview and produce your SlideTalk video. The SlideTalk video is automatically published and ready to be shared.
Click here for a short but comprehensive tutorial on how to create talking videos with SlideTalk.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Updated tutorial on how to turn a presentation into a talking video

Here is our refreshed and updated tutorial on how to turn PowerPoint presentations or collection of pictures into a talking video:



Enjoy it!

Friday, March 7, 2014

For the younger ones, learning to count! ...in several languages

Have a look at this playlist created with SlideTalk, and learn to count in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Polish and Swedish!



Are you curious about how to get the text-to-speech to whistle and laugh? Stay tuned, we'll publish some information soon...
learn to count playlist

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Music moods now available at slidetalk.net

Make your talking videos even more engaging and entertaining by adding music moods.

See an example of usage for each of the music moods in this playlist:



To add a music mood to your SlideTalk, just select a music mood in the Create or Edit pages:


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Longing for music? Here is a teaser for you

We are experimenting with the option of adding background music to SlideTalk videos. Here is a playlist of videos showcasing different music moods:



What do you think? Let us know!