Using video in presentations: ‘Death by Powerpoint’ or ‘Thank You For Watching’?

If you had the opportunity to pitch your business to an audience of your prime target clients, what would you do? How would you fill the 45 minutes slot?  How would you make optimum use of the time? This golden opportunity recently came to a client of ours at CSL and the first thing he decided to do was to commission some video work (a good decision, of course, in our opinion…)

We have all sat in presentations that show slide after slide with the presenter talking non stop... 45 minutes can feel like a long time. How was he to avoid giving his audience that sinking feeling? 

We encouraged him to always think of it from their point of view: how could video help keep their interest during his 45 minutes in front of them? At what points should he use video to give a break from him talking? 

Variety helps to keep a presentation fresh. In the pre-production stage we agreed to pursue the use of a range of styles covering divergent subjects whilst getting as much value as we could from a restricted budget. We decided to make an identity film, an interview-based film and an explainer film that explored an area fundamental to the uniqueness of his offer in detail. 

In a short burst of 90 seconds the identity film showed the audience what his company does. This saved him time within the presentation. At an early point, the film established his company as credible, dynamic and knowledgeable. The use of a female voiceover artist within the film also offered a different input and a change from his own voice. 

As his presentation unfolded and before his audience started to tire, the second film was shown to support and develop what he had been saying in the room. We wanted to compound and develop the key messages he had been getting across. This film consisted of two separate interviews intercut with one another.  One was from the CEO of CIMSPA -  a leading industry expert and the other was from his organisation’s chairman. They described an industry wide problem and how they had collaborated to develop a solution. The subject matter was of great relevance to the audience. Footage and stills illustrated the points they were making and provided greater visual stimulation. A positive and upbeat bed of music complemented the imagery and the subject matter. 

The third film covered the least straight forward part of the presentation. Our client needed to communicate how an app he had developed was central to the success of the apprenticeship they had designed. Although the subject matter was critical, it was relatively dry and could easily lose the audience’s interest. 

We focused on the benefits of the app; rather than just show how it worked, we showed why it worked in the way it did. The pictures and voiceover were timed so that the audience could clearly see the benefits that the app gave to the user. The film lasted four minutes. But through the use of visuals, music and voiceover, we avoided getting bogged down in too much detail. 

Each of the three films had a distinct function when interweaved within the rest of his presentation. By offering different sensory stimulus and variety, he earned the attention of the audience. Importantly, the relatively high production values reflected well on the ambition and maturity of his company. They helped him to form a good impression.

The feedback the client received was extremely positive and his presentation created highly valuable opportunities for his business. Furthermore each of the films has longevity. The presentation prompted him to make them, but they will be used in the future at subsequent meetings and presentations. 

Video serves many purposes and functions within a modern business. Credit is due to this particular client for having the insight to know he could use three separate videos to create a positive impression with his potential clients. At shortstories we are always happy to have a no obligation conversation about how you can make effective use of video for your organisation. Please send us an email at if you would like us to get in touch to discuss your next video project.

Philip Pickard - Head of Production