Tuesday, June 18, 2013

7 reasons not to use videos in presentations

The use of videos during presentations is not new, but it's on the increase. It's often seen as a benefit, especially if speaking to generation Y or millennial audiences. But how useful is it really. Does it add to your reputation or take away from it? I think there are a number of reasons to avoid it, so here are my seven reasons not to use video on stage:

1. It's not you. You're showing an audience another presenter, maybe even in voice-over, who is potentially very different from you and your style.

2. It's not your message. However close a video is to your ideas, it's probably not identical, since you didn't produce it.

3. It's not yours.  The copyright may be owned by someone else. They may never find out, but it's still illegal to use it if you don't have permission.

4. It's not fair. I've seen presenters fill up to half of their speeches with video material. That's hardly fair to an organiser that's paying you for your stuff.

5. It's not in flow. Using a video can break up the flow of your speech, and distract your audience.

6. It's not new. Many viral videos have been seen by many people. The first viewing may induce a gasp. Subsequent viewings my induce a groan.

7. It's not good enough. Your material is superb, so don't dilute it with someone else's second-class stuff.

Of course, there are good reasons to use video too - what would you suggest they are? Or do you agree with the points above?


Stuart Bruce said...

Agree. You've also missed off the risk that if it is a really good video then there is also a risk that other speakers will have thought the same and use the same video

I never use video when speaking, although I do use some when training.

Alan Stevens said...


Great call - thanks for your comment.