4 Questions to Ask When Leveraging Videos in a Presentation

Visuals are vital to any successful presentation. In fact, when people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if an image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.

When it comes to presentations, it’s common to see photos and infographics, but there is another type of visual that, when leveraged correctly, can level up your presentation and leave your audience on the edge of their seats: videos. Videos are often avoided, because they take away from the overall time allotted for the presentation, but when selected correctly, what could be seen as a time waster can quickly turn into an asset.

There are many different types of videos available for use in a presentation — product reviews, inspirational stories, or typography-based overviews, just to name a few. But when selecting the right type of video, you have to take a few things into consideration.

What is the emotional outcome you are hoping for?

When it comes to selecting a video, start by thinking through the emotion you are wanting your audience to experience. Are you hoping that your audience will laugh or cry, be inspired or feel contemplative? Understanding your end goal allows you to look at any video you may use through that lens. The best way to know if a video will accomplish your intended goal is to simply watch the video and be aware of how you feel. Don’t overthink it. Chances are your audience will feel similar emotions.

Does this video promote my overall message?

No matter what the emotional outcome you are looking for, it is vital that every video complements your overall message. It can be easy to let the desire for an emotional reaction cloud the message of the presentation. When this happens, the video turns from useful to distracting. When selecting any visual, keep your message at the front of your mind; if it doesn’t complement and enhance your message, the video shouldn’t go in your presentation.

How much time do I have?

In a culture where the average attention span is just 2.8 seconds, it is extremely important that you keep things moving in your presentation. This rule applies exponentially to video use. It feels a lot less rude to pull your phone out and check your email during a video than when someone is speaking to you. So, don’t give your audience that chance. Keep any video you use to 2-3 minutes in total. A video is meant to complement the presenter’s words, but the longer a video plays, the greater the chance of audience disengagement.

Do I have the rights to show it?

Unfortunately, this is a question that many presenters don’t consider. With access to thousands of videos at the click of the button, it’s easy to select “Clink Link” or “Download” and think you have unlimited access and usage rights to a video; however, that’s rarely the case. You may have the rights to watch the video or even share it with someone else, but most likely, you don’t have the rights to show it to a room full of people as part of your presentation. Copyright laws are complicated (and expensive to hash out if lawyers have to get involved over misuse of rights), so make sure you have the appropriate permissions before showing any video publicly.

Videos are often underutilized, because we simply don’t know how to leverage them, but they can be a powerful tool to engage your audience and increase their retention.

Have a presentation coming up? The team at Ethos3 would love to help take your design to the next level. Contact us today for more info on how we can help.

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