If you’ve been tasked with delivering a presentation, then engaging with your audience is going to be the key to your success. You can achieve this by using video and audio in your presentation.
Long gone are the days when you could get away with delivering a simple PowerPoint presentation to a packed room. Today your audience will expect more, and if you want to see positive results from your presentation, you should aim to deliver more. After all, we’ve all been at those conferences and events where you are forced to sit through a lengthy and dull PowerPoint display that has the audience on the brink of sleep!
So, inject some energy into your next presentation by incorporating video and audio. Our tips below will have you on your way to presentation stardom.
Using video in presentations
Use the best equipment possible
Whether you’re shooting the video yourself or just using it in presentation, you need to make sure that the equipment you use along the way is suitable. When shooting the video, use professional equipment – it can be hired out easily from companies like JMPS. When delivering the presentation, make sure that the entire audience can see a high-quality screen from where they are sitting. This may mean hiring additional screens, but it will be worth it.
Keep it short
Video is a great way of engaging with an audience in nearly any situation. However, if the video is too long, you will lose them – unless it’s written, shot and produced by Martin Scorsese, perhaps. Instead, keep the video short and punchy.
Mix up the content
One common mistake with video is to have it run on and on with little variation. For example, a stunning timelapse playing for 5 minutes with dramatic music still gets boring if there is no sense of story. A video of someone being interviewed will also turn your audience off after a period of time. Instead, mix content types up within your video, it will keep your audience engaged for much longer.
Watch the file size
When choosing which video to use, keep an eye on the file size. The larger the video file is, the more problems you are likely to run in to when it comes to loading the video during the presentation. Even if you have the fastest broadband around, a full HD or 4k video that is a few minutes in duration is almost certainly going to buffer, which looks rubbish and will likely disengage your audience.
Ahead of your presentation, give proper consideration as to the specifics of delivery. Will you have internet access for your videos to load, or can you download it to your computer instead? If you download it, is your computer – or the one you are presenting with – going to be able to seamlessly play the video without a problem?
If you are going to be using Wi-Fi, will you get the chance to run some tests on the Wi-Fi connection in advance? If Wi-Fi is the route you choose it’s always worth having the presentation backed up on your computer or a memory stick as a backup.
Finally, another presentation sin when using video that is repeated so often is to not have the video integrated into to your presentation. If you have to minimise a window and access the video elsewhere or follow a link while the room is watching, it just looks amateur and gives more potential for both yourself and the audience to lose concentration. Always try to embed the video player within your presentation which most presentation tools will allow you to do and of course don’t forget to check in advance you have the sound turned up.
Using audio in presentations
Don’t cut corners!
As with video, the quality of your audio equipment is so important when you’re presenting. Aside from the microphone you speak in to, you will need to make sure that the audio system is capable of delivering a reliable and consistent high-quality sound throughout the venue. Nobody likes tinny-sounding audio.
Start with something lively
Some of the best presentations I have seen are ones that kick-off with a lively introduction. It can be a mix of video and audio, or purely audio. Try an exciting, upbeat music track, a sound effect that has relevance to what you’re delivering, or just a short burst of dance music as you enter the stage. Without doubt, an audience will be much more alert and ready to listen to what you’re saying if the silence is broken with something fun or loud.
Make sure your video has audio
Okay, so this could have also been in the video section, but don’t be one of those presenters that play a video without sound during your presentation, even if it is an amazing video. Your audience will expect sound, and without it, you may lose their concentration or make them work too hard to get into the video.
Watch the bass!
Regardless of the type of audio you use in your presentation, make sure you check the levels of things such as the bass ahead of time. You do not want to suddenly have the audio come in that is uncomfortably bassy, for example.
Preparation is everything
If possible, try to test out your presentation in a similar size room to the one you will be using, and with similar equipment. You need volume levels of each audio clip throughout your presentation to be around the same, for there to be no awkward echoes, etc. As with all aspects of presentations, preparing ahead of time is crucial.