Colette Cassinelli's visionary use of information literacy and educational technology

Using iMovie for Narrated Speeches

My Multimedia class is considered a “Communications credit” since students learn how to communicate through visual images, web design, multimedia and spoken word.  One of the assignments is to prepare a speech orally in class and another is to create a narrated speech using iMovie.  Below are the directions I give to my students on creating these narrated movies.

YouTube playlist featuring iMovie Speech projects from December 2014

Creating a Narrated Slideshow using iMovie on the iPad

When recording a narrated speech using iMovie you must pay close attention to the quality of your voice, inflection, and pronunciation.  The visual images are even more important than when you give a speech orally in class because your audience is not looking at you during the speech.  The audience pays more attention to your choice of images, how they are manipulated and why you chose specific images to match your message.

Some things to consider before making an iMovie narrated slideshow:

  • Choose good quality images that are large enough (horizontal layout works best).  You probably want to change the image every 10-15 seconds during the speech.
  • Make sure your speech recording is loud enough or adjust the volume.  Rehearse!  Change your voice, inflection and have perfect pronunciation.  Record small sections of your project at a time.  This will make it easier to trim the beginning/end of each section.
  • Consider varying the look of your images.  Trying zooming in using the Ken Burns feature; other times have your image be full screen or try varying the transitions.
  • Add a title before the movie or on the opening image.
  • Give yourself credit with the title or at the end. (optional)
  • If you decide to have background music, turn down the volume on that track so it doesn’t drown out your speech. (optional)

Creating  your iMovie on your iPad — Narrated Slideshow

  1. Open the iMovie App.  Create a new project by choosing the + in the upper right hand of screen (not a movie trailer).
  2. Tips:  Turn your iPad sideways for full screen access.  Make sure your selected images are in your Camera Roll before you begin.
  3. Insert the 2-3 images for your Introduction to the timeline.  Click on the image to adjust color effects, if desired.
  4. Select the first image on the timeline and then select the T from the lower toolbar to add a Title to the opening image.  You can also add titles on individual images, if desired.
  5. Select the microphone in the lower right hand of screen to record the narration of your introduction.  Adjust the volume as needed.
  6. Adjust the timing of each of the images by pinching in/out to trim to desired length making all images equal to the narration.
  7. Transitions are automatically added in between each image but the length and type can be changed, if desired.
  8. Adjust the length of all images and transitions so the images match up with the audio recording.
  9. Optional:  You can add Theme Music as background music but make sure to turn the volume low so it doesn’t complete with your narration.
  10. Repeat these directions for each section of your narrated speech.

Ken Burns Effect on still images

You can adjust the Ken Burns effect so that the motion starts and ends on the parts of the image you specify.

  1. In the timeline, tap the photo you want to adjust.
  2. The Ken Burns effect controls appear in the lower-right corner of the image in the viewer.
  3. To set the way the photo is framed at the beginning, tap the Start button .
  4. Pinch to zoom in or out, then drag the image in the viewer to frame it the way you want.
  5. To set the way the photo is framed at the end, tap the End button .
  6. Pinch to zoom in or out, then drag the image in the viewer to frame it the way you want.
  7. To close the controls, tap the Ken Burns Effect button , or tap outside of the clip.
  8. If you don’t want the Ken Burns effect applied to a photo, set the image position and zoom level to be the same for the start and end points.

Finalizing your iMovie Project

  1. When done editing, return to the main iMovie Project menu and change the name of your project.
  2. Click the preview arrow to watch the entire movie before finalizing.
  3. Select the Export icon and share the movie with iMovie Theater. iMovie Theater will rebuild your movie frame-by-frame and play it full screen on your ipad.
  4. Go back to main iMovie screen where you see three options (Video, Projects, Theater) and choose the Theater option.  Play your movie here.
  5. If desired, select the Export icon and export your iMovie project to YouTube using your lshigh.org email account.


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