We’ve all been there. Sitting in an audience listening to someone speak while clicking through yet another PowerPoint presentation that is mind-numbingly boring and wishing we were anywhere else.
It’s hard to make slides interesting. And yet they remain the presentation go-to in most business and government settings.It’s time to do better. Slide presentations are old-school. They no longer impress or engage an audience. It’s time to step up your presentations. Here are ways to use video to add spice to your presentations:
- Set the Look— Every presentation should have a look, feel, theme and tone. Video can help you establish that visually. This gives your audience context for the content you will be presenting. It underscores what you are saying and give your presentation a powerful presence.
- Keep it Short— No matter how great your presentation is, no one wants to sit there forever. Communicate your ideas as quickly as possible through video and break them up to make points. It’s better to have a speech with a few videos interspersed throughout than to talk for 30 minutes without a visual break for the audience. The good news is that video conveys ideas faster than words alone, so you can shrink your presentation and keep your audience’s attention throughout. Go for quality, not quantity.
- Make it Professional— No one wants to watch a blurry, poorly produced video shot on your phone. If you are making a professional presentation, you need a professional video.
- Light It Up— Professional video means you can see what is being shown. This means using proper lighting throughout—one of the big issues in amateur videos. Proper lighting (and poor lighting, for that matter) affects how the audience receives the material. It can boost or squash your image.
- What’s That?— Make sure your sound is professional too. There is nothing worse than being subjected to a presentation you can’t hear properly. If you are using the microphone on your iPhone or camera, then your audience will have a problem hearing. Those microphones are not a professional way to capture sound. Not only do you also capture all ambient noise that cannot be filtered out, but they often sound as if they were recorded through an oil drum, with a hollow echo that is hard on your audience.
- Be Sure It Fits— Don’t use a video just because it looks good. Make sure it speaks to your presentation and augments it. It should fit.
- Think in Stories— Video allows you to tell a story. This is important because telling stories is the best way to engage an audience and evoke an emotional response. With video, you can tell the story, set the stage, add drama and atmosphere, heighten tension through sound and hook your viewers.
- Make the Complex Simple— Video is the perfect way to break down complex material and make it more digestible. If you have a section of your presentation that is particularly dense, convert that material into a video. It will increase understanding and retention.
- Forget Embedded Video— If you want a cohesive video, forget embedded single videos in your presentation and make a video presentation. Add animated logos to the front and bumpers for your various sections. Change your slides out for motion graphics or animations. If breaking your presentation into videos doesn’t make sense, then modernize your existing presentation. Just be sure to not overdo it. It’s easy to overwhelm your audience visually.
- Consider a Video Wrap Up— Video is a great way to end a presentation, even if nothing else was video. Use a short video to summarize your presentation and motivate your audience to embrace the material, use it, change course or do what you intended. What was your point? What was the overall call to action? Say it in the video.