As more and more PowerPoint users incorporate video backgrounds into presentations, it’s more important than ever that it’s done in a way that produces eye-catching and effective results. This can be a bit tricky for the uninitiated, so this article gives seven quick and simple tips for using video backgrounds successfully in a PowerPoint presentation.
1. Be Sure the Video Background Motion Isn’t Too Fast
One of the biggest issues with poorly executed PowerPoint presentations that incorporate video backgrounds is speed. It’s easy to over design a presentation that uses a video background. I’ve seen many examples of presentations that have distracting, fast-moving backgrounds, distracting from the presentation itself. So a key reminder is to use backgrounds that are slow to medium in the speed of animation and motion. That way your text and other elements will remain the focus.
2. Choose Backgrounds That Support Your Presentation
As with any “new toy” so to speak, presenters can fall into the trap of adding backgrounds that have nothing to do with the subject or theme of their presentation. Adding video backgrounds that don’t connect with the presentation theme can be a killer and distract the audience from what you’re hoping to communicate. So remember to choose backgrounds that augment your presentation. This will help you to communicate more effectively during your presentation. Although it can be tempting at first, it’s never a good idea to use video backgrounds just to show off your ability to use them.
3. Choose Uncluttered Design That Doesn’t Compete with Text
Another important key reminder is to choose backgrounds that are primarily uncluttered so that you have ample available space to include your presentation text and other graphic elements. If you use complex backgrounds with too many animation and design elements, it can once again compete with your text and presentation itself. An uncluttered video background with slight movement goes a long way to enhance an otherwise plain PowerPoint presentation. You don’t need a lot of design and movement to be eye catching.
4. Looping Is Important
When selecting video backgrounds to incorporate into your PowerPoint presentation be sure the video seamlessly loops. This is a featured added to many of the professionally designed animated backgrounds available in the marketplace. Essentially seamlessly looping video backgrounds can be played back continuously without detecting where its loop point is when viewing. This offers you a great advantage as a PowerPoint presenter. During your presentation you can be parked on any particular slide and have the background continuously looping in the background. The result: eye-catching motion that enhances powerpoint design communication during your presentation.
5. The Right Encoding (and Plugin) for Playback
It’s important to note that to include (and import) video into your presentation the file must be one that is accepted by PowerPoint. The typical files that PowerPoint works with are AVI, MPEG and Windows Media (WMV). I recommend using WMV files since it’s a file type created and supported by Microsoft itself, which is always a good benefit. So you must take your original video files and be sure to convert (encode) them to one of the three file types mentioned above. When encoding the files for playback in PowerPoint be sure to remember the following specifications (and do some testing):