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On Demand Presentations

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(Click Image Above for Demo)

This is the age of YouTube, with entertainment and information for billions of viewers every day. However, many businesses upload short videos to promote their products and services, and experience very little impact. That’s because simple videos alone can’t really tell a detailed business story.

But YouTube videos viewed within PresenterNet’s interactive presentations tell a story more much effectively. This combination creates a high impact presentation that strengthens both and creates a new kind of business tool.

YouTube videos are perfect for numerous applications within online presentations. They provide full motion animation of customers, company spokespeople, or celebrities delivering authentic messages. Within an online presentation they blend with images, text, presenter narration, and background music to tell a powerful story.

Presenters are using the PresenterNet YouTube app in both live presentations like webinars and on-demand pre-recorded presentations. (Click the Image Above for an on-demand demo.)

Some presenters take advantage of existing YouTube videos. The short demo (click image above) illustrates use of a famous, charismatic figure to provide an inspirational moment in a training presentation. Other use publicly available video like famous movie scenes, and short comical pieces that inject lighter moments to break up a detailed presentation.

PresenterNet’s YouTube app enables presenters to end a video at any desired point. Presenters can therefore show only a few seconds of a video, rather than delaying the presentation through an entire performance.

Many presenters make their own simple videos and upload them to a private YouTube channel. Integrated into PresenterNet, these videos become effective for customer testimonials, product demonstrations and messages from company executives.

Creative presenters can integrate full motion video from YouTube with animated text and images to produce on-demand presentations similar to very high-cost commercial productions. That’s why this PresenterNet app is rapidly gaining popularity with small and home-based businesses.

Most of us watch television and claim to ignore the commercials. Yet even small companies spend a great deal on TV commercials for one reason: they work. Large national or global companies spend an average of $350-thousand dollars to produce elaborate videos with sophisticated special effects. However, small companies in local markets with much smaller budgets still create effective commercials by following some of the same rules on a much smaller scale.

Online presentation creators can learn a great deal from small-scale commercials that produce substantial financial returns. Whether we present through live webinars or on-demand website presentations, TV commercials offer valuable lessons.

Lesson number one: Keep it simple. Successful commercials—even infomercials—seldom introduce multiple ideas. Whether they are promoting a restaurant, a tax prep service or a tire store they state their basic message in as few words as possible and then offer several proof statements to support it. Invariably they end with a call to action like, “call now”, or “stop in and talk to us”. They don’t make the fatal mistake of many PowerPoint presenters who try to tell a complex story by including a deluge of details.

Lesson number two: Use multi-media to deliver ideas. Some viewers absorb information from a narrator’s voice. Many people need to see the same words written onscreen. Still others relate only to pictures. Most effective commercials use all of these, along with graphics because each of these media forms strengthens understanding of all of the others. Most commercials also use background music, because the human brain retains more information, both consciously and subconsciously, with musical accompaniment.

Lesson number three: keep some form of motion on the screen. Low-budget commercials can seldom afford cartoon-style animations, but they continually change parts of the viewer screen by fade-in or fly-in of new pictures, new text, or new graphics. These changes keep viewers focused.

Online presenters can follow all of these rules with effective use of PowerPoint. That usually means that we need to eliminate some of the typical parts of PowerPoint presentations, especially the ones that bore audiences. Smart commercial creators never use screens full of static text bullets. When they use text it fades in or flies in to support the narrator’s message and disappears in a few seconds. Good commercials never dwell on a single picture, but constantly change to multiple views. Graphs and charts are used in their simplest forms and seldom dwell onscreen for more than a few seconds. If charts need to make more than one statement, they appear in segments as animations.

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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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