Stage Time: Seriously... that video? | Darren LaCroix

Stage Time: Seriously… that video?

By Darren LaCroix | Darren on the Road

Do you use video in your presentations? Thanks to huge advances in technology and YouTube®, it’s so much easier that ever before. I believe video is a powerful tool to help prove a point and keep your audience engaged — but there is a risk. A big risk.

During my travels last month, I attended four conferences. They were all professional conferences with well-established professional speakers. Whenever possible I love watching other pros work. I always learn something, and it helps me as a coach by allowing me to use more real-life examples from which to teach others.

While visiting Singapore I popped in on a professional convention with some of my speaking colleagues. We all sat in the front row to watch a world renowned author give a speech on his new book. I’m pretty sure everyone on the planet has either read or heard of his first book, but I don’t want to mention his name. The point is, he’s a celebrity. His presentation was about his recently-published book. I was equally interested in what he had to say on his subject.

In the middle or his presentation, I was surprised to see him show a YouTube® video. It wasn’t his video, either. I could live with that, but I was there to hear his view from his research from his book. Part of the problem, in my mind, was that his transition to, and the point he made with the video, were very weak. It seemed a bit of a stretch as to why he showed it, other than to get some laughs and good emotions flowing in the room. The ultimate kicker was that in the past three weeks (four events), I had seen the same video clip in three different presentations from professional speakers.

With today’s ‘gnat-length’ attention spans, I believe proper use of video can enhance a well structured presentation.

When using video, consider three important points:

1) Think it through first. If you’re thinking about using a video — and it has more fifteen million views — chances are, in a professional audience, many have seen it!

2) Be original. Anyone can search online. Create and use your own videos. Why not? It becomes branding and can be used as a marketing tool. Audience members may go to your YouTube® channel to watch more videos… and they may even send their friends!

3) Justify properly. Make a clear point with the video. Be sure that you’re not just trying to liven up your presentation with a funny video. Make a direct, pointed tie-in to your message.

The worst part was, the celebrity speaker’s credibility went down in my eyes after seeing his live keynote. He was a good speaker. I was rooting for him and wanted him to do well. His use of that video made me wonder about the rest of his findings. It would have been so cool if he’d created an original video that related to findings from his new book. Out of the three presenters who used the 15-million-view video, only one of them used it properly. It really enhanced his message and had a perfect tie-in to his presentation.

What about you? Have you ever seen a presenter use video well in a presentation? Ever seen someone use it poorly? How did it affect your thoughts and perceptions about the presenter? Please post below and read examples from other readers. (For bad examples, please do not name names or I’ll have to delete your comments.)

Stage time,

Darren LaCroix
2001 World Champion of Public Speaking


P.S. I’ m very pumped to finally launch Humor and Hope, which includes insights from my mentors past and present.  It has been a year and a half in the making. Click here!

P.P.S. As you may know, I rarely promote anyone else’s programs. While driving to LA last month I was listening to Craig’s new program: Mastering Back of the Room Sales I pulled over and took notes.   It truly is a game changer for accomplished and emerging speakers, especially if you want to sell without sounding like an infomercial. For details, click here.

Here’s an email I received recently…

(Arnold drove over six hours to see me speak programs and wanted to learn from me first-hand while helping in the back of room.)

Dear Darren,

I don’t know how much actual help I rendered you, but you need to know you rendered a ton of help to me! Much of what I experienced I had already heard, transferred from my CD’s of ‘Own the Stage” (I also have “Get Paid to Speak by Next Week,” and “We’re Talking Product.”) But Wednesday was LIVE, a vastly different experience to listening to Darren while jogging, say, or cycling. Maybe it was the kinesthetic experience of taking notes – I don’t know, but it all came together Wednesday (use more dialog, tap and transfer, move purposefully, look to one but speak to all) as a remarkably powerful integrated whole.

In short, my friend, thank you for your opened generosity!

Arnold Kunst, Author

Programs he mentioned:

​Are you making any of these Top 10 Speaking Mistakes?