The Case for Videos in Presentations

How important are videos in presentations? In an age where 19% of online traffic comes from YouTube, it can definitely help.


The biggest hurdle you have to face as a presenter is engaging your audience. People are a fickle bunch, and you can never tell how your audience will react. It’s up to you make sure you’ve prepared as much as you can to keep them focused and attentive. Otherwise, your presentation will likely fall on deaf ears.

This is where videos in presentations can make a huge difference. Videos are a great format that engage both sight and hearing. Because of that, there’s plenty of opportunity to share a huge chunk of information in just a short amount of time. Think about it this way: In a novel, an author will probably spend a full chapter to introduce the setting of a story.

For a movie adaptation, this can be cut to just a few scenes. Instead of vivid and lengthy descriptions, you get to see the real thing. Considering that the average attention span lasts for only a couple of minutes, videos are an effective way to get your point across.

The Catch

Despite this advantage, videos in presentations can also prove to be harmful. As Christian Heilmann puts it, videos are very engaging. So engaging that they can become distractions. If you’re not careful, the information you’re sharing could fall to the background. In order to avoid this scenario, you have to learn how to strike a balance.

These are a few things to keep in mind about videos in presentations:

What videos to include

Keep your audience focused on your presentation by showing them videos that contribute to your discussion. In other words, videos in presentations should always drive a point and serve a purpose. You can go ahead and add funny clips in your slides, just as long as it’s connected to your overall message.

If you’re pitching a product or service, adding a video demonstration is a must. Another thing you can include are videos from your ad campaigns or content marketing strategy.

Video length

In order to stop your audience from getting too distracted by videos in presentations, use clips that are just a few minutes long. If the video you want to share is runs for more than five minutes, trim out some parts that aren’t too important to the main message.

You can use a video-editing software to cut your clips shorter. Here are a few user-friendly options for beginners:

Placement in presentation

You should also know where to place videos in presentations. It needs to come out at a strategic time so you can make the most out of it. According to brand communications expert, Carmine Gallo, videos can serve as a soft break for your presentations. Most people tend to tune out every 10 minutes or so. To reel them back in, trying placing videos after an in-depth discussion. For example, you can show a video demonstration after you explain the features of the new app you’re launching.

Videos can also serve as a good starting point. To immediately catch the attention of your audience, start with a short clip. Make sure the clip you choose has great impact, and can elicit shock or curiosity.

Engaging your audience can be a difficult task. Adding videos to your presentations can make that task easier.

To learn how you can add videos to your PowerPoint deck, read our previous tutorials: 


Featured Image: woodleywonderworks via Flickr

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