Master Your Message Blog

How to Use Video Effectively in Your Presentation

Using video in your presentation is easy. But you need to check your software manual or help files to find out what kinds of video you can use. You’ll find a list on my website for the various flavours of PowerPoint and Keynote.

But here’s what I want to talk about – etiquette. Because you can’t just throw up a twenty minute video and expect your job to be done and the audience to think you’re the greatest think since Cecil B. DeMille. There are unwritten rules to using video in your presentations.

This article and video will give you tips and techniques to ensure you use video as effectively as possible if you’re planning on using it in either PowerPoint or Keynote.

Keep your video clips short. I recommend it be no longer than a minute or two, because any longer and you stand the chance of having it “take over” your presentation. You don’t want to be second banana to a movie, believe me. You are your presentation.

Resize your movie on screen so that it can be seen by all. And make sure that you introduce it properly. “Set it up” as we say in television. I’ve seen too many presenters not explain an upcoming clip very well and so the audience doesn’t really know what to focus on until after it plays. So, set it up properly and then have it play on cue.

There are a couple of ways to do this:

  1. You can set it to play when you click it. Both PowerPoint and Keynote let you do this. Most remote controls will trigger the video to play when you press the forward button. Or you can click it if you are using a mouse or your touchpad. This will put a freeze frame of the first frame of the video on the screen until you click.
  2. Set it up to play automatically when you move forward from the previous screen (I use my remote to do this). I like this keeps the video as a total surprise and sometimes the first frame of the video is someone’s face with an expression that’s not that complimentary.

Now, a quick word about size. Size is important! I’m talking about file size. Don’t attempt to play a high resolution clip many megabytes in size. It needs to be a compressed clip. If you’re not sure what that means, google it or visit my blog for more info.

If you don’t compress your movie clips, chances are your computer will freeze or crash right in the middle of your presentation.

Video can be very powerful, but only if you follow proper etiquette.

Comments for this Post

Leave a Comment