Getting Started

Before you hit record, consider the following steps to ensure your presentation is organized and the narration matches the visual aids.

  1. Make a plan. Outline a storyboard that organizes the content you’d like to cover.
  2. Develop slides. Create slides with brief overviews of the content to be discussed.
  3. Prepare a script. Write the audio content before recording. This will reduce presentation error and ensure all planned topics are included. Also, it is important to note that in order to comply with ADA regulations, all recordings must have captions. Any videos that do not have captions cannot be released to the national market.
  4. Confirm the slides are approved. Please share your slides with your project editor before recording. Images must come from pre-approved sources such as the public domain, hold a creative commons license, or be royalty-free. Any third-party content must be cleared for use by the Cognella licensing team.

Once your slides and script are prepared and approved, you are ready to begin recording.

Tips before Recording

Update PowerPoint

Previous versions of PowerPoint may not export voice recordings when exporting to video. Make sure to update your PowerPoint to the latest version.

Use of a webcam

PowerPoint includes a webcam feature. Please talk to your project editor if you are planning to record yourself within your video presentation. In most cases, we encourage an audio-only file for national adoption purposes.

Prepare a sample

Before proceeding with all recordings, please send your project editor a sample of at least one completed recording.

Technical Requirements


Plan to keep each video to about 4-7 minutes in length. If you are filming a narration that will exceed this time limit and there are natural breaks in the lesson, please plan to break the clips into smaller segments. Smaller segments are very helpful in illustrating key points.



It is best to record lectures from a desktop computer. You can use either a PC or a Mac.


You will need a microphone to create the recordings. A standalone microphone that can plug directly into your computer is preferred. While many laptops have built-in microphones, the quality of these microphones varies greatly. If you plan to record using a laptop microphone, please create a sample and send it to your project editor for review.

Writing tablet

PowerPoint has a pen feature to produce smooth, readable text and images for live annotation, such as solving sample math problems. You may also use a writing tablet. Do not write on the screen using a mouse.