When you're speaking to an audience, you want them to be thinking about your message. They should be focused on you and what you're saying. You want them swept along, totally locked-in and following your flow.
It doesn't help if you have to stop in the middle of a presentation and say, "Now just a minute while I switch to a different system and play this short video."
The easiest way to avoid this is to combine all the components of your presentation into a single package. If the video is actually included in your PowerPoint presentation and stored on your laptop, that's one whole source of delay and fumbling eliminated. You simply press the Enter (or other) key on your keyboard and the video plays.
Of course, you'll need a computer equipped with Microsoft PowerPoint to follow these instructions. The details of this article will involve PowerPoint 2003 running on Windows XP Professional. Only slight changes should be needed with other versions of PowerPoint or other operating systems.
In order to use video well with PowerPoint, you will need a video editing program. I use DeskShare's Video Edit Magic. If you use a different editor, you will have to adapt these instructions.
If the video you will be using comes on a DVD, you may need a program to "rip" the DVD video to a computer file. Video Edit Magic can read DVD video directly, so I won't be using a ripping program in my example.
Let's do it. Let's say that I'm going to speak about HyperPackaging at a trade show. HyperPackaging has a great corporate video, about two minutes long. I want to open with two slides, then show the video. The steps in doing that are very simple:
1. Prepare the video.
2. Embed the video into the presentation.
3. Set a "trigger" to tell PowerPoint when to play the video.
4. Package the presentation and video.
Preparing the Video