Friday, July 11, 2008

Public Speaking : VIDEO

Video has been ingrained in our society for some time now and it looks like it will be around for quite a while. VCRs and monitors are readily and inexpensively available just about anywhere, so considering the use of video in your presentation is not really a wild idea.

Video can be used in several ways. You can purchase or rent training videos on just about any business subject. John Cleese, of Monty Python, fame is doing corporate videos that are interesting and informative and, of course, have a humor twist. John's videos are available from many sources. For fast and reliable service, I recommend The Humor Project

If you're the CEO of a company, (or you could suggest this to the CEO) you could produce a funny day-in-the-life tape which could be very self-effacing. Maybe you would wake up at 11:30 a.m. Then you would shower and go to lunch. After that it is time to stop in to say "hi" to your secretary. Then you might go to the golf course, on to dinner, and then to the theater. The ending scene would show how exhausted you are at the end of the day.

I use FREEZE FRAME video when I do my presentation skills training seminars and individual coaching. This technique consistently gets super high ratings because people can learn techniques better when they see them in action.

I heard of one presenter who played a video of himself telling the crowd that he wouldn't be able to be there in person. He then ran on stage and argued with himself on the video.

You could use video to show your product in action. Video can capture and convey situations that you could never reproduce on-stage.

I sometimes use a video introduction that is very funny. The scene shows a lady at a desk who is supposed to be one of the top meeting planners in the country. She is saying that she uses me for every meeting and social function her company ever has. She says, "In fact, I wouldn't use another speaker if you held a gun to my head." As she is saying this, the camera pulls back and you see me holding a gun to her head. It always gets a big laugh.

I saw Frank McGuire, one of the founders of FedEx, use a video introduction that had Ted Koppel saying how great Frank was. If you know any celebrities, video is a good way to use their testimonials over and over again.

You could briefly show home video of you doing something funny. Or you could show how proud you are of your kids (just don't overdo it).

For maximum effectiveness when using video, interact with it. Interrupt the video and discuss what you have just seen. Keep video shots fast-paced with short segments. According to BusinessWeek, the average U.S. executive has an attention span of six minutes while at work (now it's more like six seconds). We are starting to talk to the MTV generation. TV is shaping the minds of our audiences.

An interesting phenomenon occurs when you are speaking in a large venue and also being projected on massive video screens. Audience members will actually look past you to watch you on video.

When you are in a large room, you must use several monitors or use video projection. Projection on a large screen has more impact, but it is also more expensive. Projection in many cases also requires that the room lights be dimmed.

You can even use a video camera to take shots of the crowd and put them in a video production immediately using multimedia and a video capture board. Excerpt from the "Wake 'em Up Video Professional Speaking System"

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