Video illustrations should not be feared, but they should not be taken lightly (C) film frame The Ring (2002, DreamWorks Pictures).
Let’s start with a short answer: ‘Yes’. We will, however, immediately add that this should be done very carefully, after weighing all the pros and cons.
Unlike live speeches in front of an audience, webinars and online presentations are videos themselves. By placing a video within a video, you create a “matryoshka” that can be quite difficult to comprehend. Moreover, the matryoshka figures may well have different faces and clothes – choosing and arranging a video in accordance with your chosen presentation style is a much more difficult task than in the case of static pictures.
In addition to the above, this solution has other disadvantages.
We list the main ones:
The use of high quality video increases the technical requirements for communication and increases the ‘weight’ of the recording;
A video distracts from the presenter, destroying the connection between the speaker and audience more than slides;
An inserted video changes the pace and rhythm of the presentation/report.
Not surprisingly, there is a popular point of view that video and animation should not be used at all in online presentations and webinars. However, this opinion should not be treated as absolute. Using videos and animation is valid, first of all, for relatively small presentations or when you have little time to prepare. But these circumstances, albeit quite common and widespread, do not eliminate the presenter’s work.
Let’s look at situations where video illustrations are appropriate:
Let’s start with an obvious example – the presentation of actual video content. For example, a movie, series, or vlog.
In second place, we list webinars lasting 45 minutes or more. Such events cannot proceed from beginning to end at the same pace – it will be too monotonous and the audience will simply “fall asleep”. For long webinars, informative video breaks can be one of the tools that are used to shake up your audience and keep their attention. In addition, they also provide the speaker time to relax. This choice is especially relevant for educational events, which in fact are lectures.
We will complete our list with presentations in which you need to demonstrate the operation of a software product, hardware, complex equipment or an enterprise. Doing this with videos is a logical and obvious step. Moreover, for such presentations or webinars, it is quite possible to feature the video as the primary content, and reduce the role of the narrator to an introduction, summation, answering questions, inviting attendees to fill out a contact information collection form, etc. Obviously, when shooting a unique video according to your own script, you can avoid conflict with the presentation or webinar style for which it is to be used.
Video is one of the relevant and effective tools at your disposal, and presenters should not refuse to consider its use simply because it can be associated with a number of difficulties and limitations. At the same time, the preparation of videos that are organically integrated into the presentation or webinar and do not conflict with the script or style is far from the easiest or cheapest work. Even if you use free content, the principle “time is money” still exists.
When deciding whether your presentation or webinar needs video illustrations, it is worth remembering that along with the digital revolution, a visual revolution has taken place, and for many people video has become the most convenient format for receiving information. That is why we mount online presentations and conduct webinars, and do not upload and send out detailed, verbose texts.