Audio slideshow: Project Introduction

In this assignment, we’ll draw on the skills you developed putting together the promotional audio slideshow for the J-School. But this time, we’re asking you to promote your own work.

The Big Idea:

Use iMovie to develop a package bringing together text (spoken or via captions), images and sound (either soundbites or your voiceover) that introduces us to your project. Think of this as a trailer for your IS project. 

This could take several directions. You could tell us what inspired you to tackle this project, what you learned along the way, how you put together the project or a combination of all these aspects. It also could look closer to an advertisement for your project designed to go viral. Be discerning, however. Your goal is hook the audience so they’ll want to explore your site and read your work.

The Nitty Gritty:

The audio slideshow should be 60 seconds to two minutes long. As always, 5 seconds of wiggle room but -5 points for each second over/under after that. You must also provide an error-free transcript of your audio slideshow for your TA and credit information for all photos should be included in the video, either as captions throughout or at the end of the slideshow.

You will upload your slideshow to either YouTube or Vimeo. This will allow you to embed the slideshow on your final IS website. You should also update this spreadsheet to let us know the URL address for your slideshow.

When you turn in your audio slideshow, you must upload to Canvas a document featuring the link (either to YouTube or Vimeo) to your audio slideshow and a transcript.

Take Note:

This slideshow is not a rehash of either your text story or audio piece. Think of your audience. Who would want to watch a slideshow that merely retells something they’ve already read or heard?

If you’re looking for a little inspiration, you can check out this video by the New York Times about Justin Bieber’s single “Where Are Ü Now.” Obviously they’re talking about a song, and NYTimes has a much higher production budget than J202, but think about how they’re deconstructing and telling a story about a final product.


Can I mix photos and video to create my slideshow?


Can I use background music in my slideshow? 

Find that answer here or here.

Do you have any examples of audio slideshows?

Sure. Here are a few:

My source feels uncomfortable being recorded. Can they write down their answers to the questions and then read them while I record, so they don’t feel self-conscious about screwing up the wording?

No. You need to find a way to make your source feel comfortable. Having your source read from a script, beyond being awkward and obvious on the recording, is unethical. There is no way for the listener to know that you or someone else didn’t write the script for the source to read. It’s important for the listener to know the source was providing their own perspective, in their own words. If we find you’ve done this, you will receive a zero on this assignment and an F for the IS segment of your grade.


Some Inspirations

Your IS Audio Slideshow asks you to introduce your story using a mix of audio and visuals. You can see this practice across mediums, though they generally take two forms: a preview or a behind the story.


Like what you see before a feature film, previews generally give you a glimpse of what’s to come in the story and why you might want to listen. Several podcasts have taken this approach. Some use interview clips and natural sound to engage the audience. Others (notably the New Yorker Radio Hour podcast) describe the show and discuss what you’ll hear in that season. Here’s some inspiration for the audio that you might pair with a slideshow:

To take this approach for your audio slideshow think about:

  • Do you have the images to match with your audio script?
  • What is the big picture story that you tell on your site? How can you convey that story to your audience while making them want to learn more? You don’t want to give away the whole story, but you want to give enough info that the viewer would be interested.
  • What are some of the most compelling points of your IS?
  • How can you best capture and highlight a theme of your project? For example, this might be natural sound from game day for a story on football. In Serial, the phone calls with Adnan are a motif throughout the show and the preview reinforces this.
  • Based on what you are pulling together, would you as an audience want to look through your own site? Putting the shoe on the other foot is an important strategy for editing.
  • This slideshow is not a rehash of either your text story or audio piece.Think of your audience. Who would want to watch a slideshow that merely retells something they’ve already read or heard?


Behind the Story

The Behind the Story takes a meta-approach to a project: it looks at how the project was made. This can focus in on one unique element of the project. For example, Behind the Bars below narrows in on the character Suzanne from ‘Orange is the New Black.’ You can also talk about what inspired you to tackle this topic (e.g., Sainsbury or Carrie Underwood below) and/or the execution itself (e.g., New York Times Story Behind the Story or Pixar Inside Out). Regardless of what you pick, though, the audio slideshow assignment is short so it should be focused.

For this approach, be sure to think about:

  • Do you have visuals to fit with this narrative?
  • Can you say what you need given the time constraints (1-2 minutes)? Or, in other words, is your piece sufficiently focused?
  • This slideshow is not a rehash of either your text story or audio piece. Think of your audience. Who would want to watch a slideshow that merely retells something they’ve already read or heard?
  • Does using your own story make this story more compelling? You’ll also want to avoid making the story seem biased.


  • Think about what images you might need for your slideshow now.
  • Think about potential angles you’ll use and begin recording natural sounds and other audio for it.
  • As you are sorting through your material, think about what quotes or snippets might be best for this piece.