When to Use PowerPoint Video?

Powerpoint presentations are a popular element in many business meetings, providing presenters with a visual support to their intended message. Done right, slides can lighten up a possibly complex subject and create an emotional reaction that is hard to achieve with words alone.

Video, on the other hand, is conquering digital marketing, providing a powerful tool to attract audience and get through the noisy environment in which we live today. So why not use video in a frontal presentation and achieve the same effect?

In order to answer this questions, you need to distinguish between two distinct uses of presentations (‘PowerPoints’), each offering a different role for video presentation:

  • Frontal Presentation, in front a live audience
  • Presentation sent as part of an email, used to expand a textual message

Video as part of a Frontal Presentation

Once you start a video, your audience attention is completely swept by the media. Your role as a presenter diminishes to an operator of the projector… 

In other words, video may be used as a video insert, highlighting specific point (like a short product demo) – not as a background media supporting the main speech.

Video as a part of an e-Mail

Using video as an attachment to an e-mail is a better use of the concept ‘PowerPoint Video’ as it serves both purposes effectively:

  • Grabs attention
  • Provides an opportunity to demonstrate and clarify a new, possibly confusing concept

There is also a PowerPoint-specific issue that justifies converting to video: PDF, the alternative (never send the source PPT file!) does not present build-ups (gradual display of slide elements), which are great way to simplify understanding of a complex slide. Video allows for proper display of build-ups, plus possible integration of a demo section, showing real-life example of a product or a concept.

Video attachments, however have their own downsides: 

  • Size might be an issue, and in most cases you need to create a streaming version on YouTube, which has its own issues.
  • Depending on your audience, the less patient ones may prefer a PDF which allows quick navigation to a desirable section rather wait for he video to roll or try navigate in a video using trial-and-error.
Bottom line: always try assess the audience attitude to video and act accordingly.