Giving a presentation is never an easy thing for a presenter. There’s a lot that you have to keep in mind, like pacing and content. You want to keep your audience in mind and make sure you’re providing value for the time they are giving you.
But there is usually something else you need to keep in mind today. Most presentations are being recorded for later publication. When presenting for an audience that has a video camera or two, there are a few other things you want to keep in mind on top of every other thing you are trying to keep track of.
Tip 1: Introduce Early. And Often
One of the things you really need to keep in mind for recorded presentations is time. If the videos are going to be posted to Youtube after the event the length of your presentation is going to matter. People that stumble across your talk aren’t going to want to watch an hour or two of slide discussion. A fifteen minute overview of a topic works much better from a video perspective.
Never rely on a lower third to do something you are capable of taking five seconds to say.
Keeping that in mind, you should start every section of your presentation with an introduction. Tell everyone who you are and what you do. That establishes credibility with the audience. It also helps the viewer figure out who you are right away. Sometimes not knowing who is talking distracts enough that people get lost and miss content. Never rely on a lower third to do something you are capable of taking five seconds to say.
Note that if you decide to go down this road, you need to make sure your audience is aware of what you’re doing. Someone might find it off-putting that you’re introducing yourself twenty minutes after you just did. But you don’t want to turn it into a parody or humor point. Just be clear about why you’re doing it and make it quick and clean.
Tip 2: Take A Deep Breath
When you are transitioning between sections, one of the worst things you can do is try to fill time with idle conversation. People are hard wired to insert filler into conversations. Conquering that compulsion is a difficult task but very worth it in the end.
One of the reasons why getting rid of filler conversation is important for a video recording is the editing around an introduction. If you start your introduction with, “Um, uh, hello there, um, My name is, uh, Tom Hollingsworth…” That particular introduction is rife with unnecessary filler that does nothing but distract from a statement of who you are.
The easiest way to do this is to take a deep breath before you start speaking. By clearing your mind before you open your mouth, you are much less likely to insert filler words in an effort to keep the conversation flowing. Another good technique that news reporters use is the countdown. Yes, it does serve a purpose for the editor to know when to start the clip. But it also helps the reporter focus on when to start and collect their faculties before speaking.
Try it yourself next time. When you’re ready to make a clean transition, just insert a single second of silence while you take a breath. Odds are great that you’ll find your transitions much more appealing.
Tip 3: Questions Anyone?
This one is a bit trickier. The best presentation model works from the idea that the audience should ask questions during a presentation instead of after it. By having a question closely tied to an idea people are much more likely to remember it and find it relevant. This is especially true on video, as the view can rewind and listen to the question and answer a couple of times.
But what about those questions that aren’t exactly tied to a specific idea or cover a topic not discussed? That’s where the final Q&A period comes in. You want to make sure to capture any final thoughts from the audience. But since this is all about the video you also want to make sure you don’t cut someone off with a premature close out.
When you ask for final questions, make sure you take a few seconds and visually glance around the room. Silence is very easy to cut out of a video. But it’s much harder to cut out someone saying “Okay, so there are no more questions…” followed by someone asking a question. It’s much better to take the extra time to make sure there are no questions or comments. The extra seconds are more than worth it.
I get to see both sides of the presentation game. Whether I’m presenting at Tech.UNPLUGGED this week or editing a video from Tech Field Day. I find that presenting for a live audience while also being aware of the things that make video useful and successful are important skills to master in today’s speaking circuit.
It doesn’t take a lot of additional effort to make your presentation video-ready. A little practice and you’ll have it down in no time flat.
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