Don't Let Video Steal Your Presentation Spotlight

BY Jessica Helinski
Featured image for “Don't Let Video Steal Your Presentation Spotlight”

More presentations are featuring video, which creates an engaging break from a static slideshow. But, videos can upstage the presenter, so it’s important to be thoughtful in how you use them. “…as with many good things, there’s always the possibility of overdoing it or doing it poorly–with the risk of less-​than-​savvy speakers getting upstaged by their own video clips,” writes Anett Grant in an article for Fast Company. She shares a four-​step strategy that helps speakers integrate videos without sacrificing the spotlight.

The first step is to tell the audience what to look for during the presentation. As the speaker, you are in control of the narrative; don’t let the slides and videos take the lead. Before introducing the video, tell the audience what to expect, and even better, as Grant suggests, “give them a hook that reinforces your story.” Prep the audience for what you want them to see, think, and hear before pressing “play.”

Then, once the video ends, don’t try to compete with its energy. This is contrary to what most speakers do, but Grant assures that it’s a better choice. “It’s way more compelling to present a contrast by toning it down,” she explains. A calm, quiet demeanor will break up the action and redirect the audience’s focus back to you.

The third step is to immediately connect the video’s message with what you said beforehand. Discuss the connection between your presentation’s overall theme and what the audience just saw. As Grant points out, “by the time the video ends, your audience might have already forgotten the main point—so it’s crucial to remind them.” Emphasize the key points of the video and how it ties into your overall message. Remember, you are leading the show, so highlight what you want the audience to take from it all.

For the fourth and final step, take a look at Grant’s article. With her guidance, you can effectively use videos to make your presentations more entertaining and engaging without overshadowing your words.