How to make an amazing video presentation

Ask anyone what software they use for business presentations and the usual answer will be Microsoft Powerpoint or Apple’s Keynote. A few may have tried alternatives such as Prezi which are impressive to start with, but someone is bound to identify it as a templated solution. All of these solutions allow you to embed video as a part of the standard slideshow but it is nothing special and really does not stand out as a video powered solution.

If you have the capability or resources to create animated video content and really want it to form the core of your presentation, there is a solution available. Amazingly it is also free to use! The answer lies in a very powerful piece of software called VLC player. This is an open source video player available for all major platforms and is highly configurable. It allows you to play all your video slides seamlessly whilst still controlling it using a standard presentation controller.

The hard part is creating the video slides. If you are simply using back to back videos then things will be fairly straightforward, however this is unlikely to be the case as most people will want feature text, diagrams and other animated moving sequences along with their video content. Unless you have the skills in-house, you will need to find a good designer and animator to convert your ideas into video content.

The key to all good presentations is an organised content structure. As with a standard slideshow presentation you will need to outline your video content and consider how it will support your verbal presentation. You may wish for some video content to work quietly in the background or to take centre stage. The next step is to list the resources you wish to use and note what exists and what will need creating. Finally map out a timeline showing your video ‘slides’ and check that the total length fits with your presentation slot.

Your video slides are effectively small video clips lasting anywhere between a few seconds and a few minutes depending on how important it is that you control the progress. If you need to keep in sync simply find a point in the presentation that works as a break and end that video there. The key is to start the next video with exactly the same content to allow seamless ‘pausing’ and restarting. What you are creating is similar to the next and back chapter buttons on a DVD remote control.

When you have all your finished video slides you need to load them onto your presentation laptop and create and save a VLC playlist. It is a good idea to number your slide file names to help them stay in order. In VLC player preferences you will need to turn off messages and set the playlist to pause at the end of each video showing the last frame. You will need to reprogram the keys for play, pause, next and back with the key presses your presentation controller uses. Then turn off messages to stop each new video from being ‘announced’ as it progresses through the playlist.

Finally load your playlist, set VLC player to full screen and connect up your projector or large screen display. You can now play your video presentation using your remote control moving onto each new video slide as your talk progresses. As each animation will simply pause on a non moving part it will appear as your talk is perfectly timed. Now you have a seriously impressive animated video presentation that your audience will love.

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