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March 4, 2010 / marden928

Presenting with videos

I’ve been working on a lot of presentations with videos lately and have come to realize that use of videos is confusing to most presenters.  In the interest of helping presenters use video in the most interesting way possible, I’d like to give you some tips:

  • Embed your video.  Switching between programs can cause chaos and break up the rhythm of your presentation.  It can also put you in a position where you are showing your audience your desktop as you hunt around for the right program.
  • Make sure your files are in the right format ahead of time.  If you’re using PowerPoint, make sure your video has been converted to a .wmv.   If you are using Keynote, make sure it’s in Quicktime.  Otherwise, your embedding won’t work and you’re back to hunting and pecking for the wrong video.  Work with your video editor to get that done.  Or hunt around on the internet for software if you feel more confident.
  • Make sure your laptop will be plugged into a sound system.  Otherwise, no one will be able to hear your video.  Test that sound system multiple times.
  • Practice with the video.  Figure our if it suits your flow better for the video to start automatically or for you to click on the screen.  If you are using an older version of PowerPoint, you probably want to click on the screen – the automatic start can be glitchy.  In 2007, automatic start seems to work more smoothly.  Practice with your individual machine though, they’re all different.  Practice with the room set up as well – there are countless problems that can happen.
  • Keep em short.  More than 5 minutes and you’ve lost your audience.  No one wants that!  Even better if you can keep your videos in the 2-3 minute range – they came to hear you speak, after all, not go to the movies.

Hopefully these tips will help you have the best experiences with videos possible!

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