Total online traffic for on-demand presentations can be huge. But if presenters don’t capture viewer interest or imagination immediately, their messages may never be delivered. Online audiences bail out quickly. So continuing our discussion of “Do’s and Don’ts” for on-demand presenting…
DO: Begin with an intriguing attention step.
The powerful ocean wave pictured above kicks off a presentation, along with sounds of crashing ocean surf. The narrator picks up the theme by using the phrase “new wave” in discussing newly launched products. Another presentation we recently hosted began with a 10-second video clip of hectic nighttime traffic whizzing through city streets, and added the background sounds of beeping horns, emergency vehicles, etc. The narrator begins by emphasizing stress in daily life, and works into a pharmaceutical product to relieve stress and anxiety.
Other examples include humorous pictures, heartwarming kids, or beautiful scenic photos. These and many other attention-grabbers create audience interest and maintain viewer focus for the main content of an on-demand program.
After delivering their primary messages, presenters can close presentations by re-visiting their opening attention-grabbers, and tying their final remarks back to the original theme. The final scene doesn’t have to be identical to the opening. For example, a humorous cartoon opening can result in an alternative cartoon closing, while obviously relating to the central theme.
Attention grabbers usually need more than a single image. Sounds, background music, animations, and other devices enhance the effect and subtly build viewer interest.
But here’s our first “DON’T.” Poorly conceived attention grabbers can also make a presentation appear amateurish, and undercut its credibility. A few examples we’ve seen include clip art depicting fireworks, gunshot sound effects, mushroom clouds or suggestive photos.
DON’T present anything that doesn’t directly relate to the central presentation theme.”
Effective use of attention grabbers is an important part of creating effective on-demand presentations. Posting a slide presentation on a website or on a public slide-sharing site seldom works well without narration, background sounds or music. And a typical PowerPoint title slide will seldom excite potential viewers.
Initial attention grabbers are only one of several items that make on-demand presentations different from standard PowerPoint files. On-demand presentation must move quickly. To effectively deliver their messages, they require more photos or graphics and less text.
Internet viewers treat an online presentation somewhat like a YouTube video. They expect slides to change automatically. If they need to click to advance them, they won’t keep watching for long. They will either move on, or click ahead looking for something more interesting. This generally means that brevity is important, and every slide must be narrated and understood in a minute or less.
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