Recording and editing your presentation

You just delivered a stellar presentation — in a meeting or on a webinar, or wherever — that is sure to propel you on a global speaking tour, or to a bathroom stall to hyperventilate. To get your material in front of more people, or to eliminate the stress of live presentation, you want to capture your magic in video form. In this guide we'll walk you through how to create a video presentation in Descript.

1. Record your Presentation

Make a screen recording

With your slide deck ready, record your presentation using Descript's screen recorder. If you already recorded your presentation, import and transcribe it, then skip down to video cropping. You can also record your camera feed if you want to do a picture-in-picture style video.

GIF showing how to screen record using the editor recorder in Descript

To make a screen recording:

  1. Open or create a new project, select Record Start recording and choose Screen.
  2. Select Record in script; then press the Space key to record your full screen, or click and drag to record an area.
  3. When you're ready, pull up your presentation on screen, and start speaking. 
  4. Press Stop Stop when you're done.
Don't worry if you mess up

Misspeak, trip on your words, made a mistake during recording, or you just want to try a section again? Don't worry use our AI actions Remove Retakes and Edit For Clarity to quickly edit and clean up your recording.

Crop your video

When you're done recording, use the crop tool to remove the unwanted areas and make your presentation look the way you want on the Canvas.

GIF showing how to crop a visual

To crop a visual layer:

  1. Select your visual in the Canvas.
  2. Press Crop Crop at the top of your video.
  3. Click and drag the video's sides or corners into the shape you want.
  4. When you're finished, press Return (Mac)Enter (Windows), or Esc.

2. Edit your presentation

Now while you can manually edit your presentation and get microscopic with your editing, Descript has powerful AI tools that can get you a finely polished video presentation in a matter of clicks.  Three features edit your entire project in just a few clicks are Remove Retakes and Edit For Clarity.

Remove Retakes

It's tough to deliver your presentation perfectly the first time. Or the 15th. Plus the pressure is on the second you hit record. Not to worry though: record as many takes you need to get it exactly the way you want it—then remove all the bad takes in a single click using Remove Retakes.

GIF showing how to use Remove Retakes in a Descript project

To use AI Remove Retakes:

  1. Click on Actions Icon.png Actions and search for Remove Retakes...
  2. Click Start AI Action Icon.png and the AI will start looking for clips.
  3. Choose to Apply edits to script, or Copy edits to a new composition, which will create a new composition in your project and paste in the edited script.

If you apply the edits to your script with the edits, you can choose Sparkle icon.png Continue editing with AI... in the prompt box to apply further actions using Remove Retakes, like Remove from transcript icon.png Accept all deletions, which will remove all the ignore media in your script applied by Remove Retakes.

 

Edit for clarity

Sometimes it takes a lot of talking to get the best ideas out there. So the first step in editing any unscripted presentation is cutting out all the ”ums” and “uhs,” long tangents, meandering blather, other scruff and fluff. And while editing that stuff out is fairly mindless, it’s also tedious and time-consuming. Or it used to be. Because now you can remove all of that in a click—then get down to making your best ideas, core messages, and most compelling moments come through crisp and clear.

To use AI Edit For Clarity:

  1. Click on Actions Icon.png Actions and search for Edit for clarity...
  2. Click Start AI Action Icon.png and the AI will start looking for clips.
  3. Choose to Apply edits to script, or Copy edits to a new composition, which will create a new composition in your project and paste in the edited script.

If you apply the edits to your script with the edits, you can choose Sparkle icon.png Continue editing with AI... in the prompt box to apply further actions, like Remove from transcript icon.png Accept all deletions, which will remove all the ignore media in your script applied by Edit For Clarity.

Fine-tune your pacing and volume

You can fine-tuning those edits from the Timeline:

Correct the transcript

Descript's AI transcription accuracy varies depending on a recording's audio quality. Not a problem though, you can quickly correct your transcript without altering your recording. 

There are three useful keyboard shortcuts that will help you quickly make corrections: C, X, and Z. Keep these shortcuts in mind for quick and efficient transcript corrections.

  • Hold C and click a word to quickly correct it.
  • Hold X and click a word to toggle different punctuation options.
  • Hold Z and click a word to toggle capitalization.

3. Add visuals 

Create scenes and add visuals

Create scenes to quickly change or adjust visuals or transitions in your video. Scenes work like slides in a presentation. They let you divide your content into discrete segments and then add visual elements like titles or overlays, create jump cuts or zoom ins/outs. Basically, you’ll add a scene anytime you want to change the visuals in your composition.

To add a scene:

  1. Place your cursor in the script where you want to add a scene boundary.
  2. Add a forward slash / to your script. Or click on the slash icon to the left of your script.

Once you've created your scenes, you can start adding b-roll — supplemental video that plays over your voiceover track — to spice up your visuals. If you have a visual you want to play over multiple scenes, you can extend the layer over multiple scenes.

Re-use existing scenes to speed up your work

Once you've created a scene layout that you want to reuse multiple times throughout your video, there's no need to remake it. You can simply copy and paste a scene's properties into a new scene.

  1. To the left of your script is the scene rail; right-click on a scene thumbnail and select Copy.
  2. Find the new scene in the side rail, right-click the thumbnail and choose Paste.

Add captions

GIF showing how to add captions in Descript

Add captions in just a couple of steps:

  1. Highlight the region of text you want to add captions to.
  2. Select Add layer icon.png Add layer > Captions icon.png captions in the selection toolbar, or T > captions at the top of the editor.

4. Share your finished presentation 

There are many ways to export or publish from Descript. We recommend using the publish-and-download feature. It will download your video up to 10x faster than exporting locally. See the video below for a full walkthrough.

GIF showing how to publish your content

You can publish or export your work in just a few steps:

  1. Select Publish and choose the file type or platform you will be exporting to:
    • The Publish tab allows you to publish directly to various integrated platforms. You can also publish to the cloud, then download to your computer—it’s super-fast. Click here to learn more
    • The Export tab has various options for exporting to your computer.
  2. Adjust your export or publishing settings.
  3. Click Export or Publish button at the bottom of the Publish panel.
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