4 tips on adding video to your PowerPoint presentations

When you’re giving a presentation, audience inattention is never far away.  It’s like gravity; it’s always there.  Fortunately, you can fight audience inattention.  Add video to your presentations and attention levels will soar. 

Adding video to Powerpoint and Keynote presentations is easy.  However, for your video to have impact, there are issues to consider beyond embedding a video file into a slide.  The following 4 tips and bonus video will make your use of video in your presentations more successful.

 4 tips on adding video to your PowerPoint presentations

1. Keep the video segments short.  Stay within the range of 30 to 45 seconds.  Think television.  Most TV commercials are in that time range.  The ones that are longer tend to have lots of action, and music.  Unless your video is from Steven Spielberg or Gordon Parks, use a short video to grab attention and make quick point.

2. Travel with slide and video files together.  Save your slide and the video files together in same folder.  Always keep them together. The same is true when you create back ups of your presentation, on a thumb drive or on the cloud.  Keep them together.  When you play the video during your presentation, your slide software will search for the video file.  If the file is not found, the video will not play.  That’s not good.

4 Tips on adding video to your PowerPoint presentation.

3. Check your audio.  Your video needs to be heard as well as seen.  Make sure that your audio is connected to a sound system.  If you are connecting your computer to a projector with a standard VGA connection, you’ll need an additional cable to get the sound out of your computer and into a sound system.  Even if you are using an HDMI connection, test the audio of your video before your presentation.  The key word is “before.”  Make sure that the audio can be heard and that the volume is set to the right level.

4. Create an entry slide. An entry slide is simply a photo of your video slide.  It’s placed it right before the slide that contains your video.  An entry slide allows you to have the video appear on the screen before it actually starts. This gives you time to introduce the video. To make the video play, simply advance to the next slide and the video will start automatically. This technique lets you to use a basic wireless remote and have better control of your video start.

These 4 tips are based on lessons learned from actual experience.  Hopefully, knowing these tips will let your avoid problems that I encountered.  Leave a comment and let me know how these tips work for you.

Bonus videoD0es your presentation need a TV commercial? – The video is from Carl Kwan.  Carl is a presentations, promo-video, and marketing consultant from Canada who has been based in Seoul, South Korea since 2004.

Carl gave me permission to share his video with you.  He’s got some great thoughts on adding video to your presentations.  For more ideas on presentation skills, check out CarlKwan.com.

Don’t forget, leave a comment and let me know about your experiences and how these tips work for you. Tweet these tips and share.

Charles Greene III Presentation Magician
Washington, DC


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About Charles Greene III

Charles Greene III is a true Presentation Magician. Working with Fortune 500 companies, he’s a magical spokesperson who delivers product and marketing messages at conferences around the globe. Through his company Corporate Shuffle, Charles has presented at meetings in Bermuda, China, Egypt, France, Mexico, Monaco, Sweden, and, of course, the United States. His clients span a variety of industries and include 3M, Alcon, Coca-Cola, Clorox, Frito-Lay, Johnson & Johnson, Panasonic, and Wells Fargo. Charles’ public speaking and presentation workshops are engaging, educational, and empowering. With more than 25 years of experience as an international corporate spokesperson, Charles leads by example. He captivates attention as he delivers critical presentation skills. His workshops cover the core skills of public speaking as well as presentation techniques learned from decades of corporate presenting. Charles is a guest columnist for Presentation Magazine. He’s been featured in Discover, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Robb Report. When not for revealing the secrets of better public speaking, Charles spends time collecting vintage magic posters, stone lithographs of magicians from 1890 – 1930. To see some of his collection, visit www.MagicPosterGallery.com. He can also make a mean gumbo. Charles was born in Hackensack, NJ. He currently lives in the historic Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC.
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