Using Video In Presentations – Golden Rules

What is tailored trainingYou will come across the occasional presenter that frowns upon using video during a speech or presentation.

In my opinion, video is a vital part of the modern day speaker’s armoury. If a picture speaks a thousand words, then a video must surely be a million.

As well as supporting and emphasising our key points, video also helps to break up longer presentations, keeping the audience engaged, and giving them a break from the speaker!

Add to this the fact that video is a great way for engaging all three core learner types (auditory, visual and kinesthetic) and you have a top tool for powerful presentations.

But video also has the power to ruin a great presentation, and so here are my three golden rules (all beginning with ‘S’, rather conveniently!) to ensure that you use video effectively in your next presentation.


If your video doesn’t fully support the key point that you are making, do not use it. Don’t try to tenuously link a humorous video to your point because you think your audience will like you more if they laugh.

Your audience will always appreciate a valid, relevant point well made over a cheap laugh or obscure video link.


A video should really be no more than 10% of your presentation. Positive communication is all about humans building rapport and understanding. How can you do that if you, the human, isn’t in front of your audience connecting with them?

Simply playing a video for the majority of your presentation devalues your own expertise and voice, damaging your relationship with the audience.


Always check your speakers before the big presentation. In fact, check all of the related technology.

You’ve chosen to use video because of the impact it adds to your message, but all of that impact will be lost if you are the presenter (and there are a few of them!) mumbling¬†‘sorry, this worked earlier…’¬†as you fumble with your laptop and your video plays silently and fuzzily on the screen behind you…

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Rich Watts is the UK Business Speaker of the Year and a past JCI National Public Speaking champion. He setup and now runs Rich Public Speaking providing presentation skills and public speaking training.

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