How and why you should use video in your next presentation

What comes to mind when you hear the word “PowerPoint”?

Based on an unscientific survey of web workers stopped randomly on the street/created entirely from our imaginations, you likely answered:

Boring | Ugh | Nap

Why is PowerPoint so nap-inducing? Perhaps because it was created in 1990…The year of Vanilla Ice, Home Alone (the first one!) and jean jackets.

Jean jackets, people.

In the 25 years hence, the web has made a few strides, but presentations haven’t. Until now.

On the web, video reigns. Every minute, 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. Now, we harness the power of all those cat videos to give presentations an upgrade by embedding embedding them directly into PowerPoint.

Video is King

People think in stories. Narratives allow us to make sense of abstract things, placing the enormity of the universe in a tidy little box we can wrap our heads around.

To make your presentations more compelling, harness the power of the narrative with video.

Video has a few things going for it:

  • Provokes an emotional response
  • Engages more senses than any other format
  • Communicates more in less time
  • Adds drama and atmosphere
  • Introduces variety a set of information

In other words, video perfectly aligns with your goals as a presenter: you want an engaged audience to think about and act on the information you’re conveying.

Your audience will react—always—to the feelings you evoke in them much more readily than they’ll react to words or stats. Video harnesses that human tendency for maximum effect.

How do I use video?

Once you’ve decided to add video, keep these five principles in mind to maximize the effect.

Keep it short.

Presentations often fail because presenters try to cram too much information into the allotted time. Go for quality of information over quantity.

Be ruthless. If you can’t keep the video under a minute long, get rid of it.

Be mindful of moving backgrounds

Adding backgrounds to your text slides is awfully enticing- it just looks cool. Animation in PowerPoint can add an ambiance to your presentation, but be careful- too much ambiance is a distraction. If a background distracts from your content, cut it.

Mix it up

Is there a spot in your presentation where the information is particularly dense? That’s probably the perfect spot to add a video. It’ll give your audience a break, allowing their brains a little time to soak that information up before moving on.

Keep it relevant

If you have to think too long about how relevant a video is to your presentation, chuck it (and no, cat videos are never relevant). Opt instead for the one that drives home your point instead of muddying it.

Find the ideal moment

Video will work better at certain points in your presentation, depending on your goal. For example, you could play a video as your audience is rolling in to build anticipation, or at the end of the presentation to make sure the audience leaves with a certain feeling (excitement, say).

Look for openings during technical explanations, where video could serve as a digestible summary, or during case studies, where adding personal stories can add a human element.

Wrapup

Video can be an incredibly powerful presentation tool when used correctly. Just be sure that it lines up with your goals, is short enough to keep everyone engaged, and is ultra-relevant to your audience.

Ready to start using video clips in PowerPoint for Windows or in Google Slides? We’ve got you covered. Embed video in PowerPoint with LiveSlides. Now, go forth and engage.

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