Whether in business, academia, or public life, most of us have had the experience of sitting through an interminable presentation given in such a dry and uninspiring way that simply following the argument is a struggle.
In order to keep an audience’s attention, it is necessary to do more than just add a few slides and images. No matter what a presentation is about, people expect a good presenter to use all the tools available to them to turn a series of facts into an intellectual journey.
This is one of the reasons why it has become common for PowerPoint decks to include video, audio, and special effects to drive the message home. But while video can provide a major enhancement to a presentation when done well, incorporating visual clips can bring pitfalls of its own. Here are three tips that can help you avoid them.
1. Identify A Clear Purpose
A presentation should be a coherent experience that underlines a few basic points, and audience members shouldn’t be left in any doubt as to what the main takeaway was. Unfortunately, video often distracts from rather than enhances these points.
As you set out to design your presentation, it is important to identify the purpose behind the talk, and to make sure that every slide, every visual, and every video furthers that purpose.
When putting together your PowerPoint, ask yourself how exactly each element adds something to your overall thesis. Does it help build or release tension? Does it communicate essential information? Does it shed light on a previous or future point?
By interrogating each element of the presentation from a critical standpoint, you will develop a much sharper understanding of the flow of information you are trying to create, and will be able to see more clearly how video can serve an integral role in reaching your audience.
2. Use Quality Graphics
Audience members are constantly picking up on non-verbal cues, and their judgement about a presentation will be shaped by these perceptions as much as by what you say. You need to make sure your presentation looks professional.
Grabbing a few low-resolution images off the internet and plugging them into a template will do little to convince your audience that you are to be taken seriously, and if you use video, you need to make sure it is seamlessly incorporated into your slides and will look crisp and clear on a large screen.
3. Consider Custom Design
In order to ensure that your video elements do everything you want them to do, it is often necessary to look beyond what you can find for free online. If you’re presenting about a new product, you may want to highlight compelling video of the product in action, or a visualization showing how this product is different from others.
Presentation specialists like Stinson Design offer in-house animation and graphic design to help businesses and individuals create custom video clips to illustrate products, services, and ideas, or to provide short explainers for complicated ideas or data points.
Including custom video in your PowerPoint doesn’t just help you create a more compelling pitch; it will also communicate how seriously you take your work, and how dedicated you are to making sure it is done well.
Technology has changed just about every aspect of how we work, but as the past year has shown, a strong in-person presentation still fulfills a basic human need for feeling connected. The trick to giving a compelling presentation today is understanding how technology can serve the overall purpose of a talk, whether that be to sell a product or instill a sense of urgency in your audience.
The dynamism of video makes it a powerful tool for storytelling, but it is most effective when it is targeted toward the actual needs of your audience. Identifying a clear purpose for your video, making sure it is of the highest possible quality, and having animations designed specifically for your purposes can help ensure a seamless, memorable presentation that accomplishes its goals.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.