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Synopsis

When you need to catch and retain your audience's attention, the phrase "I'll just 'wing it'" shouldn't be in your vocabulary. A response-evoking presentation is all about solid content, aesthetically-pleasing visuals and careful planning. This doesn't mean, however, that you have to spend a gazillion hours on your slides. Our Video Backgrounds (Part 3) deck was created specifically to save you time and ensure that the audience's eyes are on the screen from the first second of your presentation to its very end.

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Slide highlights

Set the anticipation for your story by using a slide with a powerful video background. A brief clip will give your audience a better idea of what to expect from the presentation.

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In order to retain the attention of the room, you must predict where the trouble spots might take place and plan for them. Simply, follow up a complex section with an attractive video slide.

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Overview

Data journalist, data visualization expert and Ted Talk speaker, David McCandless, said: "I feel that every day, all of us now are being blasted by information design. It's being poured into our eyes through the Web, and we're all visualizers now; we're all demanding a visual aspect to our information. There's something almost quite magical about visual information. It's effortless; it literally pours in."

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This statement confirms once again that visual elements are extremely important in presentations. And out of all of them, video is the most persuasive because it caters to both the brains' visual and auditory systems and requires the viewers' minds to have an emotional response to make decisions.

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Application

Below you can find directions on how to insert videos in PowerPoint, Google Slides and Apple Keynote.

Powerpoint

  • Open the presentation you would like to use or, to start a new presentation, click on the "File" tab and choose "New" on the left navigation list; then click on "Blank Presentation"
  • Choose a design theme for the presentation by clicking on the "Design" tab and selecting a theme you like
  • Choose the "Slide Master" button by clicking on the "View" tab
  • Click the first slide in the thumbnail view of the left side
  • Add a "New Slide Layout" by finding and inserting the "Insert Layout" button from the "Slide Master" tab
  • From You Exec Video Backgrounds (v2) presentation, download the deck by clicking "Download PowerPoint Format." Save the file to your computer in the desired folder or on the Desktop
  • Make sure you are still selected on the "Custom Layout" slide master, then click on the "Insert" button and choose "Video." Pick "Video on my PC"
  • Click on the "Video Tools Playback" tab near the top of your screen. Click on the drop-down arrow next to "Start" and change it from "On Click" to "Automatically"
  • Save your presentation
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Google Slides

  • Open the "Slides" home screen at slides.google.com
  • In the top left, under "Start a New Presentation," click "New +."
  • From You Exec Video Backgrounds (v2) presentation, download the deck by clicking "Download Google Slides Format." Save the file to your computer in the desired folder or on the Desktop
  • Note: to insert a video that isn't from YouTube, it must first be stored in your Google Drive
  • Access Google Drive, drag the video to Google Drive or click "New," then click "Upload Files." Locate the file with the video in your computer and upload it to Google Drive
  • Click "Insert," then choose "Video." A new window will open. Choose the video you want to upload from the Google Drive tab and click "Select"
  • Save your presentation
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Apple Keynote

  • To open Keynote, click the "Keynote" icon in the Dock, Launchpad or the Applications folder
  • Browse themes by category or click "All Themes," then double-click a theme you like to open it
  • To add a video to a single slide, go to "Insert," then "Choose"
  • From You Exec Video Backgrounds (v2) presentation, download the deck by clicking "Download Apple Keynote Format." Save the file to your computer in the desired folder or on the Desktop
  • From the dialogue box, navigate to your video, select it and click "Insert"
  • Select the video on the slide, then set the "Repeat" dropdown menu in the "QuickTime Inspector" to "Loop"
  • Save your presentation
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Expert advice

TED Talk

Director of Product Research and Development at TED, Aaron Weyenberg, says the following about creating compelling presentations with video: "For video, don't use autoplay. It's super easy to insert video in Keynote and Powerpoint – you just drag a Quicktime file onto the slide. And when you advance the deck to the slide with the video that autoplays, sometimes it can take a moment for the machine to actually start playing it. So often I've seen presenters click again in an attempt to start the video during this delay, causing the deck to go to the next slide. Instead, set the video to click to play. That way you have more predictable control over the video start time, and even select a poster frame to show before starting."

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