Presentation Tips

How to Use Video to Engage Your Audience

Jordan Turner
May 20, 2020
 min read
How to Use Video to Engage Your AudienceHow to Use Video to Engage Your Audience
Table of Contents

The average human has a working attention span of about seven seconds. Yep, you read that right, seven. To put that in perspective, scientists believe goldfish have an attention span of a whopping nine seconds. I bet you’re wondering how goldfish can focus longer than humans (we were curious, too). Studies have shown that our attention spans actually decrease a little each year. The culprit? Technology. The growing digital world makes communication, notifications, and information readily available with the click of a button. Because of this we’re constantly chasing new information. Insert: the demise of our attention span. Unfortunately this makes it extremely difficult to hold the attention span of others, too. Marketers, public speakers, teachers, and presenters are constantly trying to find new ways to grasp (and hold) the attention of their audience. 

Something that has proven to work well is video. Whether it’s marketing collateral or a presentation, video is a unique way to stand out and engage your audience. In fact, if we look at Steve Jobs’ most popular presentations dating back to 1984, a lot of them included some sort of video within the slides. He was on to something. In the last five years we’ve seen the rise of video in advertisements, emails, presentations, and on social media. Simply put, it’s a more efficient way to get your message across. 

Using video in presentations

Video in presentations isn’t revolutionary, but it is something that most presenters tend to shy away from. It could be because they don’t have the resources to create a video, or because they don’t know how to incorporate video organically in their slides. Either way, we want to help make it easier. Here are five common use cases for video within your presentation.

  • Testimonials. Instead of using lengthy text blocks to share customer feedback and testimonials, try including actual video recordings of happy users or clients’ experiences. A video testimonial will evoke more emotion from the audience, making it easier for them to connect to your overarching message. 
  • Marketing content. Any marketer will tell you the importance of multimedia in any given campaign. You may have a commercial, an animated advertisement, or a video for social media that you want to include in your marketing or business plan. It could be a campaign that performed well that you’re sharing with the team, or an idea for future campaigns that you need approved. 
  • A product demonstration. Product demonstrations are a common resource for many sales teams trying to onboard new potential customers. But what if said demo was embedded in your presentation so that you didn’t have to fumble around on your computer mid-meeting to find it? It’s easy to do in 
  • Showcasing a new product or service. You may want to include a short video in your pitch deck showcasing your offerings to potential investors. This will give them a much better idea of your product or service than if you had laid it out with images and text. They’re also a lot more likely to pay attention, which is key if you’re trying to secure funding. 
  • Human resources on-boarding. When you have a new hire, you will likely send them a deck regarding important company policies and benefits upon their arrival. You may want to include a video on company culture, harassment protocol, or introducing different benefit plans during open enrollment within that presentation so that it’s easier for them to retain. introduces new video upload capabilities understands the importance of video in a presentation, and adding a video in the product is easy with our Smart Slide templates. You have always been able to choose between our “fullscreen video” or “video with title” template, and import a video from YouTube or Vimeo. That said, we recognize that some teams have proprietary media that they may want to include in their presentation without putting it out there on the public Internet for competitors to find. Because of that, we’re excited to announce our newest video upload feature. Now you can upload an exclusive video showcasing your product, a new feature or service, or human resources and marketing materials directly from your desktop files and add it to your slide. An example of a use case for this could be a media sales rep previewing the upcoming season for TV shows. While they’ll want to include a trailer or clips of the new season in the presentation, they won’t want those videos to live on YouTube until the season is set to air. Our new video upload feature cuts out any third party video hosting sites, and makes the design process more secure and seamless. Of course, the option to use YouTube and Vimeo is still there for those who want it.

We’re confident that this new feature will make adding video to a presentation more efficient for more users. It’s especially useful if you have a video file that you want to share in a meeting, but you’re not quite ready to share it with the rest of the world (i.e. put it on YouTube). It’s our hope that this expands our video upload use cases, and that more teams will be able to use video in to help engage their audience. 

Jordan Turner

Jordan Turner

Jordan is a Bay Area writer, social media manager, and content strategist.