Creating Effective Video Presentations

Video presentations are important to get right. Your aim should be to keep your viewers watching your video rather than clicking away part way through. Whilst there will always be people who don’t watch the entire video, you’ll be able to tell from your stats how long people watch for and can tweak your newer videos to help reduce the number of people who click away.

Grab attention fast

You know from the videos you watch that you need to get people’s attention fast. Our attention spans seem to be dropping by the minute and if we don’t get what we thought we’d clicked on, we’ll click the back button fast.

That means you can’t spend the first minute or two of your video waffling and generally beating around the bush. You need to have a brief introduction – I’ll typically say something like “Hi, this video is about” and then whatever the title of the video was.

Nothing more.

No long introductions – the equivalent of the polite sales call introductions of “how are you today” that you immediately recognise as being from someone who’s never spoken to you before in your life.

Make it personal

The closer you can get your video to being like a one-on-one conversation you’re having with a friend, the better.

This really is important!

Your personality will come across when you do this. Which means that you’ll either attract or repel people watching your video.

Don’t take that personally – we can’t be all things to all people, it’s just not possible.

Instead, you’ll get people who like your style and let you know that by subscribing to your YouTube channel, even if you don’t remind them that’s an option.

You may even get comments and YouTube allows you to moderate those. It also does quite a good job of filtering out the spam that pervades the internet.

Keep to the point

Videos aren’t the place to go off on a tangent.

Personally, I like to work from a slide show or at the very least a bullet pointed list.

That works for me and makes sure that I keep close to the original point I promised to talk about.

Don’t cover too much

It’s better to split your presentations into several shorter videos rather than trying to create an epic that covers everything.

This has two main advantages:

  • It works with short attention spans
  • It gives you more chances to appear in the search results

Most search results tend to drill down – people are getting wise to the fact that Google is relatively clueless if you only give it one or two words to work with and are using more words for their searches, often from the list of suggestions that show up as soon as you start typing.

Use the suggestions that show up as the basis for your titles.

Then answer the question that’s been raised in the search query.

Nothing else – just stick to the topic.

Of course, if you’ve promised 5 tips then you need to give 5 tips. That should go without saying – although without an editor overseeing you, it’s not uncommon for things to go astray even with something as basic as that.

I’ve done it on articles before now and been picked up by the editorial process.

But the chances are that you’ll be writer, presenter and producer of your video. So you need to be alert for that potential problem.

Powerful Negotiation

Negotiation is one of those aspects of life we face on a daily basis. It is essential that a person have powerful negotiation skills, as everything in life requires it. Through great negotiation techniques, you can be very successful in your work, as well as your personal life.

The most important thing is you must understand that negotiation is a skill or a talent. Not everyone has the ability to negotiate; however it is achievable through learning and practice. Everyone should try to become proficient at this skill, to ensure you get the best deal for what it is you require. In order to be a great, successful and powerful negotiator, there are some important tips you need to keep in mind.

When negotiating it important you focus on the particular outcome you want and you must be able to successfully present your argument. At the same time, if money is involved, it is essential that you talk about it before finalizing a deal. Do not be shy and avoid the topic. There should be no surprises at the last minute. Being calm focused and patient while negotiating is very important. You should always keep your emotions away from the discussion. There’s a saying that goes “When emotion is high, intelligence is low”. If you can remain calm, cool and collected, you are more likely to negotiate a successful deal.

Never take the first step when negotiating. If negotiating on a wage rate and someone asks you what rate you are expecting, ideally respond with a question back to them by asking them their budget and what amount they are willing to pay. Believe in what you are asking for. You can choose an amount and not budge, or you can ask for more than the amount you intend on receiving and be willing to negotiate. Do not be arrogant in your conversation but have very good reasons to convince them that they can give you a better offer than the present one.

Be very clear on your bottom line. In order to be a successful negotiator you should be able to give the impression that you may walk away from the deal that is being offered to you, if that is what you are actually willing to do. You must also be ready to offer the other party those things which do not have any impact on your side of the deal or the things you are willing to compromise on. This way, everyone feels they have contributed to the negotiation process and ensures a good relationship between both parties at the end of the conversation.

If you have other options you are looking at, ensure the other party is aware of them, albeit not the specifics.

A successful negotiator should be able to read body language and use it in order to read what the other person is thinking or to send a message to the other party. Body language is of great assistance in assessing when it is time to move to another subject and take a different tack.

These are some important points and tips every successful negotiator should keep in mind and work on. Read books on negotiation, body language and influencing. Negotiation is a skill that can be learned and with practice you will be a far more confident negotiator.

New to Presenting Onstage? Get to Know Your Crew!

Are you new to the world of live presentations? Perhaps you
finally got that Big Dog position in management or someone
tapped you as a subject matter expert in your chosen field.
Whatever the case, welcome to the glamorous world that we
call “Business Theater!”

Presenting in a large space — the ballrooms and convention
centers of the world — is a big step up in intensity from the
conference room and whiteboard setting you’re comfortable
with. Standing in front of six people is always easier than six
hundred, but you can do it with a little help.

As any veteran presenter will tell you there are certain things
that will race through your mind before getting a few big
shows under your belt — “Do I really know my material?”
“How do I look?” and the one make-or-break question you
may not think of until walking onstage… “Who has my
PowerPoint file?”

Your file is most likely in the capable hands of your
professional graphics operator. Affectionately referred to as
“punch monkeys,” they’re the ones backstage, behind the
curtain or in the control room cleaning up and advancing
your slides while you concentrate on dynamic speaking!
More often than not a beginning presenter does not realize
the support system he or she has hidden behind drapes.
On larger shows there may be a hundred people or more
running around the room right up until the audience enters.
As showtime nears they scatter away to their operating
stations and get “on headset” for “doors.”

Before the doors open, there’s a good chance your operator
knows
your slides as well or better than you do. If your presentation
is part of a daylong or weeklong conference, he or she went
through it a dozen times looking at formatting, spacing,
colors and readability. They might have transferred it into a
show template sharing a common background or color
scheme to match printed show materials. They also
arrange content if needed – usually splitting up long slides
into two or three pieces to increase font size — and that’s not
something you want to be surprised with onstage! So what
should you do? Get to know your operator!

Before the audience shuffles in for the big event, take a few
minutes to meet your crew and discuss your presentation.
Any football team relies on well-practiced play calling to
succeed on the field. Like them, you should go over some
basics so the operator can get in step with your style and
you can get in step with any adjustments to your file.

Every presenter is different in his or her timing and vocal
style but some aspects of a presentation are
pre-determined. For example, how will you advance the
slides? Here are the options you should always discuss
with your crew before addressing your audience.

In a perfect world, our actions would be scripted! With a little
preparation (i.e., time) your operator can mark cue points or
highlight keywords for slide transitions and bullet point
readers. Even if you stray from your lines here and there,
this is the most solid method of keeping your slides on
track.

Some scripts are elaborate text documents with specific
graphics and camera shots called out in the left column.
Another type of script is a simple copy of your Notes pages.
Many presenters include possible ad-libs or expound upon
items mentioned in their notes that may not appear as
material on the slide above.

If you don’t use a script, most production companies will
offer a cue signal. Typically one signaling device is
hard-wired and attached to the podium, and the other is a
loose wireless version in case you like to walk the stage.
You simply press the button, and move to the next slide in
your sequence. This device doesn’t actually advance the
slide, but it tells your operator to advance by triggering a
small light or an audible tone every time you hit the button.
It’s a time-tested and trusted Pavlovian system.

Some presenters find using cue switches awkward; and
non-signals or double-signals are commonplace with
inexperience. A good operator will compensate 99% percent
of the time, but a non-signal can create an awkward pause
while the speaker waits for something to happen!

The other two ways of advancing through your presentation
are a little more of an adrenaline rush backstage. Let’s call
them the “next slide,” and the “big breath.”

The “next slide” is very conversational or informal
and simply leaves you as a presenter to call upon your
transition. In front of large audiences, this may be too casual
– and can be obnoxiously repetitious combined with a large
deck of slides. On smaller shows or in unusual situations
where you may be a “guest speaker” within a presentation
with five or six minutes in the spotlight, this may work just
fine.

One tip if you like using this method is to switch up your
cues verbally. Rather than saying “next slide” for the 100th
time, feel free to say something like “continuing on,” or
“when we advance.” Some speakers can do this so
seamlessly that it works as well or better than a cue light
when a sharp puncher is tuned into the style.

The “big breath” is the ultimate in seat-of-the-pants
presenting, and not for the weak. A solid speaker with an
experienced graphics operator can turn this into a winner,
with a little luck. Here’s why…

Because you know your material, you have internalized and
memorized the points on each slide. As you slip and slide
through your page of bullets or cover each chart, you will
take a natural longer pause and deep breath when it is time
to go to the next slide. For this to work, a rehearsal or two
with your crew comes highly recommended — particularly for
any ad-libbers!

In the end, it’s up to you to create the “wow factor” onstage.
By working together and performing in sync with your
graphics operator, you can do great things! Review your
deck, let them know what you plan under the lights, and rest
assured they’ll be watching, listening and on your side.

Take a minute and get to know them. Then put on a great
show!