Entertaining Videos Bring Boring Presentations to Life

Jedidiah Gant - May 11, 2018

When prepping for a presentation, whether it’s for a company meeting, a conference, or a individual lecture you are giving to an audience, there are many aspects of the presentation to consider. From talking points, to the slide designs, to all the tech necessary to pull off a successful presentation. Oh, and video!

Yes, video should be at the top of your list. Videos make your presentations more entertaining and engaging. Not sure where to get started? Here is a list of ways to use videos in your presentation to get people excited about the rest of your potentially boring slide deck.


Intro: Give Your Presentation that Initial Jolt

Get people out of their own head and into your presentation! The beginning of a presentation can set the tone for the entire time you stand in front of an audience. Bore them and they’ll either check out or leave. Kicking off a presentation with a video can show you are here to entertain and get your audience engaged. That video can be a simple introduction of the ideas you are about to present, a short inspirational piece to set the tone of your presentation, or hey, you could even introduce yourself with a video rather than do it in person.

The video above was used as an introduction by Jeremy and me at the High Five Conference 2018. Rather than leave a single slide up with our mugshots, we decided to create a short, weird video with music to lighten the mood and create a certain atmosphere in the room before we started our presentation.

Whatever you do, make it fun, make it informative, make it you.

GIFs and Micromedia as Breadcrumbs Throughout

So your presentation has kicked off with a jolt. Now you need to keep people’s attention. You could easily do that with your amazing knowledge and expertise on your topic. Mixed with some bulleted slides, you can keep the audience’s attention, right? Well, maybe not as much as you’d like. So, why not add some GIFs or short micromedia videos throughout your presentation to keep the entertainment and engagement level high.

Unless you’re Carl Kasell (RIP) no one likes hearing your voice for very long — videos can be a breath of fresh air in your presentation. You can get a breath and gather your thoughts. Your audience can digest your knowledge while being entertained. Because that’s what audience members ultimately want — to be pulled into your presentation.​ Keep them on the edge of their seats so they don’t leave their seats.

Climax: Pep Things Up in the Middle

All great stories need a climax and your presentation is no exception. One way to create a crescendo and elevate the story arc in your presentation is to add a video as the climax. By opening with a video, you set the stage and mood, the exposition video we’ll call it. Follow that video with the body of your presentation, slides that are informative. and build off of that initial video…then hit them with another video that brings your points to a peak.

Above is the middle of my 2016 Creative Mornings presentation where I showed a video (or two) in the middle so I would stop talking and instead entertain the crowd with video.

In case you’ve lost your audience a little in the middle, this type of video tactic during a presentation will perk the crowd right up. From there, it’s smooth sailing with your final points riding the wave of this crescendo.

Finale: Go Out with a Bang

Maybe you’ve littered micromedia videos throughout or simply showed a video at the beginning, but the bulk of your presentation has been info slides, info slides, info slides. Or maybe, just maybe, you haven’t shown any videos at all. The fix is here, end your presentation with a bang. A video bang.

In many cases, the last few info nuggets you share in your presentation are the ones that people take away, remember, and repeat. So, ending with a recap of your main points is how many presentations end. In case people were zzzzleeeping, they get a takeaways synopsis to go back and write their own reports or create marketing material for themselves using your inspiration. Presentation success! Video can be that take away. It can be an entertaining takeaway that people remember and are inspired by. Whether it’s a recap video that describes the points you made throughout the presentation, or a project video example that you think is a culmination of your presentation, or hey, it could simply be fun, quirky, entertainment pieces meant to leave the crowd in a mood as they walk away from their presentation.

Rather than your typical “Any questions?” slide, show them a video and say, “Thank You.” They’ll ask more questions if they are inspired by your work, your presentation, and the mood you put them in. Leave them with knowledge. Leave them with inspiration. Leave them with a video. It’s your parting gift to them for attending your presentation.