Designing for Video Presentations
Designing slides for a video presentation is not necessarily the same as designing for a live presentation. Platforms can be completely different, and while presenters can record slides that they would also use for live presentations, there are certain aspects that should be adapted for video platforms. If you are designing slides specifically for a presentation that will be recorded as a video, what points should you take into consideration?
Where will the presenter stand? The most effective video presentations are those in which presenters can stand in front of the slides so that they can gesture to objects as they animate on-screen. In order for this to be possible, space must be left for the presenter to stand in front of the slides without hiding any content. Designers should be aware of this, and build ‘standing spaces’ into each slide.
Have you checked the contrast levels? What colours work best with the cameras you are using? Are all slides elements clearly visible? If your presenter will be standing in front of the slides, is he clearly defined from the visuals? A presenter in a black suit will not be correctly displayed against slides with a black background. Design your slides accordingly, and check with the presenter what he or she is likely to be wearing.
How engaging are your visuals? Presentations viewed online can benefit from slightly exaggerated animations to keep remote audiences better engaged. This is especially true if you are designing a video presentation that won’t also feature a video of the presenter. If your video will feature both presenter and slides, standard visualisation and animations will happily suffice.
How long should the presentation last? In remote or video presentations, engagement levels are severely limited. Webinars and other remote presentations should be kept to half an hour, or have soft breaks programmed into them. Video presentations that are designed to be watched on-demand should be kept much, much shorter. Marketing videos should be limited to 2-3 minutes, while informative videos for already engaged audiences should be kept to about 10. For designers, this means that every second counts. Presenters in 2-minute videos will be working from very tight scripts with very little leeway. You can’t afford to create fancy animations that might take an extra couple of seconds to present. At the same time, a great visualisation might help the presenter to get his or her point across more quickly. At any rate, you should be well aware of time limits before design is begun, and work closely with the presenter to ensure that these are met.
How does it work with the platform? A lot of the time, your video presentation will be used in many different locations online or otherwise, and you’ll just utilise your standard branding colours and design. But if there is one specific platform you would like the video to be displayed on – for example, your website – a great added touch is to ensure that your slides complement the platform design. Incorporating elements of your website into your slide design will enhance the effect of your design and ensure a slick, professional finish.
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Paul Armson, Prestwood Software
The presentation was slick and polished – it really looked professional. The slides demonstrated the message, making it clear and easy to understand; particularly the complicated graph, which was broken down into simple steps. Much nicer to watch than slide after slide of bullet points! It really did look great.