30 January 2009

Audio Slideshows – Do’s & Don’ts

The secrets behind great slideshows are revealed by Boston.com editor David Beard.

Speaking to Poynter Online, Beard suggests that the basic ingredients required for an effective audio slideshow are “outstanding images, distinctive voices, pace”.

And he points out that despite the popularity of video, sometimes a photo slideshow with an accompanying audio track is the right way to tell a certain story.

For example, he says that it is sometimes the case with video that “the single best image of a subject may not come with the single best sound bite”.

He adds: “In the rush to Flip cams and upper-end HD video, we recognise that each story has distinctive multimedia platforms - and that in some stories, going old school still works best.”

But there are some pitfalls and here are some of Beard’s list of do’s and don’ts:


Vary the rhythm

Cut out any filler – with the photos or on the soundtrack


Include boring audio that drones on

Record someone simply reading aloud their story

Rotate the same photos in order to fill the audio time

Check out Beard’s handiwork on Boston.com, including this audio slideshow leading up to Barack Obama’s inauguration.

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