Let’s Make an Explainer Video Using PowToon — Part 6

Hello Everyone:

We’re up to part 6 in this series: Let’s Make an Explainer Video Using PowToon.


In the third post we started the process of creating the video, leading off by discussing narration. Recall the basic steps in creating an explainer video are:

  • Pick a Topic
  • Write the script
  • Edit the script
  • Create the video
  • Edit the video
  • Upload the video

Time spent so far: 13 hours.

Last post I covered the basics of synchronizing slide animations with narration, which completed the discussion on creating the video.

In this post I’ll go over editing the video.

A blended process

Though the steps identified above imply that editing is distinct from creating the video, this is not the case.  You’ll actually wind up do some editing both during the creation process and after the video is “finished”.  The two steps — creating and editing — tend to blend.

There are, broadly speaking, three types of edits you will perform:

  • Add or delete animations to/from slides — you may find there are slides where there is a lot narration, but not much happening on the slide itself.  In these situations you can add some animations to increase engagement for those slides.  More rarely, you may find a slide is “too busy” and decide to remove or slow down some animations.
  • Add or delete slides — PowToon has 20 second limit for slide duration.  Sometimes you just cannot trim the narration down to 20 seconds. One solution is to add a second slide directly after the slide in question.  You’d split the narration into two portions, one for the original slide, and one for the new slide. If you recorded narration with Audacity, you can easily split a piece of narration into two.  If you used PowToon’s native narration feature, you’ll need to re-record both pieces of narration.
  • Equalize narration volume — you may find that different pieces of narration sound “different” — your voice is softer or louder from onePowToon Volume Control piece of narration to the next.  This is particularly prone to happen if you do not record all of your narration in one sitting.  Unless you have access to professional equipment and a studio, minor changes in ambient noise, your siting position, or even your energy level will affect the sound of your narration.  You can use PowToon’s native volume control for each slide to compensate for varying volume levels.

Finishing touches

Once the slide edits are done you can enhance your video through the use of background music and slide transitions.

  • Add background music  — background music can give your video a little more appeal.  PowToon has a variety of royalty free tracks which can be added to any video using its Sound Manager.  You can control volume and looping of the track.
  • Add slide transitions –– anyone who has worked with PowerPoint (is there anyone who hasn’t?) is familiar with transitions — those animations that take you from one slide to the next — fades, wipes, dissolves, etc.  PowToon has a host of transitions that can be applied to each slide.

Final Thoughts

PowToon is a web-based application and because of this, cursor response is sometimes not as “snappy” as it would be if you were using a desktop program.  At times I have found myself waiting for the cursor to “catch up” to me while I was working.   This doesn’t occur all the time, but it can be a bit annoying when it does.

Shorter videos are preferred for a couple of reasons.  First, they don’t take as long to watch.  With shorter attention spans now the norm when it comes to the internet, this is something to keep in mind.  My explainer video is a little under 4 minutes in duration, which I think is an acceptable length (your mileage may vary).  Second, the shorter the video, the less time it takes to produce. 

If you have a brand in terms of colours, fonts, or other style elements, you’ll want to incorporate those into your explainer video for consistent messaging. 

It took me about two hours to do the additional edits for this video.  Total time so far: 15 hours.

This is what it looks like:

Well, that’s it for this post.  Next we’ll look at uploading your video and making it available to the world.

Thanks for reading, and I will see you again soon.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.