Tips and Tools for Crafting a Multimedia Presentation
If you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance you’ve probably given a presentation before. There’s also a good chance you’ve probably been on the receiving end of a presentation. Presentations are effective ways to teach, sell and share ideas – the list is endless. Not all presentations are good, though – and when you’re in the midst of a bad one, it’s easy to tell.
With a few tools, thorough editing, revision, and practice, a multimedia presentation can go a long way in taking the topic you’re presenting to the next level.
What is a Multimedia Presentation?
Much like the name suggests, a multimedia presentation is a presentation featuring multiple (multi) types of media. A few examples of media types include videos, GIFs, animations, audio or photos.
At first reference, you might automatically equate a multimedia presentation with a PowerPoint. While PowerPoint is a valuable tool for creating a multimedia presentation, not all PowerPoints are multimedia presentations.
A multimedia presentation is effective because it uses different types of media to engage an audience and ultimately communicates. Whether it’s a lesson, a pitch, a complex idea, or even a data set, multimedia presentations are an effective way to capture and maintain the attention of your target audience.
Multimedia Presentations: 3 Common Examples
Depending on what you’re trying to communicate, you might need a different type of media or format to deliver an effective multimedia presentation. Here are three of the most common examples of multimedia presentations and how they can be used.
Example 1: Video
Video is an attractive way to transform information. Using video within a presentation can add context to an idea or even bring a theory to life through a visual example.
Adding video can also be effective in any education setting where a teacher or professor is seeking to increase in-class engagement .
For example, incorporating videos into a lecture or lesson can not only help with engagement but can also encourage retention. According to a study published in Innovations in Pharmacy , students reported higher in-class attention levels when a multimedia presentation was used for a class lecture instead of a traditional “chalk and talk” lecture.
Example 2: Animations and GIFs
In a new era of remote pitching, sales teams that once relied on a team to deliver an oral presentation with a slide deck featuring only a few bullet points or photos are getting creative.
Presentation videos are one-way sales teams from a variety of industries that are reshaping the traditional pitch. You can get creative with presentation videos too, adding in animations or GIFs to help articulate key points.
If you’re presenting with a slide deck that includes other forms of media, a well-placed animation can help bring greater clarity to a complex process or serve as a break in between slides.
Example 3: Graphs and Charts
Solving a complex problem requiring close examination of mass amounts of data is a great reason to turn to a multimedia presentation. These types of multimedia presentations often come to life with graphs and charts.
For example, you might be able to identify a particular pattern or trend in a data set directly from the first glance. However, if there are other people involved in the problem-solving process who don’t share your skillset, data visualization can help amplify your message.
Data visualization is important because it makes data easier for the human brain to understand and pull insights from.
There are many different types of data visualization tools available. Some work by taking existing data and visualizing it into graphs, maps or charts. Others can go a step further, incorporating subtle animations into visualizations.
Essential Tools for Multimedia Presentation Building
There are lots of different tools you can use to design your multimedia presentation and even create media. While many tools are similar, it’s important to note that some are more advanced than others. Make sure you know your skill limitations ahead of time and select only the tools you feel comfortable using.
Here are four of the most important tools for building a multimedia presentation, as well as a few of the best options.
PowerPoint, Google Slides, Keynote
All three of these tools are the gold standard for creating a slide-deck style multimedia presentation. Similar in design and features, the differences between these three programs are subtle, and the only reason to use one over the other would be based on what you have access to.
One of the biggest benefits of using any of these three programs is that they are all easy to use. If you’re a beginner, you can select from a variety of premade templates and drag and drop your media directly onto your slides.
As a bonus, these three programs also have some animation features, allowing you to animate objects on a slide as well as transitions.
Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Creative Cloud is more advanced and could require some additional knowledge or training. The best benefit of Adobe Creative Cloud is that all of the different products can be used interchangeably. For example, if you’re working on a video presentation in Adobe Premiere, you can seamlessly import an animation or motion graphic you may have created in Adobe After Effects directly into your video project file.
Canva is a multi-use tool that combines the features of both PowerPoint and a few of the Adobe Creative Cloud products. It’s also designed for beginner to intermediate users. As a bonus, many of their plans are low-cost, and there’s a free option anyone can use.
Canva features include everything from slide-deck style presentation templates to video presentations, standalone videos and even some basic data visualization.
While many of the tools above have some sort of basic data visualization functionality, there are tools out there specially designed for more advanced applications and audiences.
Tableau , for example, is one of the most advanced data visualization tools often used by data scientists and statisticians. Power BI is another similar tool that tends to be lower cost for most users and integrates with other Microsoft products.
Both tools are similar in features in that they provide a variety of visualizations for presenting data in a way that allows your audience to analyze effectively or clearly see important insights.
5 Steps for Creating a Multimedia Presentation
Creating a multimedia presentation is similar to planning and designing any other type of presentation.
Here are five steps to crafting a multimedia presentation:
- Frame your story.
- Create an outline.
- Choose your tools.
- Start building and add media.
- Revise and edit.
Let’s dig into these steps a bit more.
Step 1: Frame Your Story
In an article in Harvard Business Review on the process of developing a TED Talk , writer, and TED curator Chris Anderson suggests starting with framing.
There’s no way you can give a good talk unless you have something worth talking about. Conceptualizing and framing what you want to say is the most vital part of the preparation.
Planning out your journey is exactly where Anderson suggests the first part of any presentation planning should begin. Why? Because it forces you, the presenter, to think critically about who your audience is and what level of knowledge they may or may not have regarding your topic.
Anderson’s last piece of advice on framing your story is to limit your scope. While you might have a ton of information you want to share, it’s important to narrow down your topic to only the things that can be explained, with particular attention to the things that can be explained and reinforced with different types of media.
Step 2: Create an Outline
Once you have your concept and a rough idea of your journey in mind, it’s time to organize it into an outline. Think of your outline as a way to break down your topic into smaller, digestible pieces. Eventually, these smaller chunks will become the content for each of your presentation slides if you’re doing a slide-deck style presentation. If you’re not doing a slide presentation, these small pieces could also work well into a video storyboard.
Once your outline is finished, it’s time to go back and make note of any items that would benefit from additional media.
Here are a few examples of things to consider:
- Do you have large amounts of numbers you can visualize with an animated graphic?
- Is there a picture you can display to bring context to something you’re talking about?
- Do you have access to videos that show a theory or certain behavior you’re talking about?
- Are there any product videos available that show your product in use?
These are only a few examples of areas where different types of media can help reinforce your point or act as engagement pieces if you’re in a more collaborative presentation setting .
Step 3: Choose Your Tools
Selecting the correct tools will help you construct your presentation and the different forms of media you’ll include.
As with all tools, be sure you’re familiar with the program you’re working with before you get started. If you’re not familiar with the program, check to see if you can find any resources to get up to speed on the basics, or reach out to a colleague or teammate to get assistance.
Check out the section above for a more in-depth look at the best tools for creating a multimedia presentation.
Step 4: Start Building and Add Media
Now that you have your outline and you’ve selected the tools you’re going to use to build your multimedia presentation, it’s time to get started!
Use your outline to guide the creation of your multimedia presentation. For example, if you’re going to create a slide deck style presentation, begin populating your slides with necessary headers to guide your presentation from one section to the next.
It might be helpful to sketch out the design of your slide layout and create boxes or placeholders where you’d like to add media. Once you’re finished, go back and add the different types of media to your slides.
Step 5: Revise and Edit
This sometimes overlooked step is often one of the most important steps in any presentation design process, not just multimedia presentation creation.
Think of it this way. Once you finish your presentation, consider it your first draft. Step away, take a day off and then return with fresh eyes to review your original outline and ensure your transitions are effective.
As a final note, don’t forget to check for typos and grammatical errors. There’s nothing worse than being mid-presentation and realizing, or being alerted to, a silly mistake that you could have easily fixed with a bit more attention to detail.
Enhancing Your Multimedia Presentation with Vibe
Simply put, making a multimedia presentation takes time and effort. Presenting with a Vibe smart whiteboard gives you additional tools to give better presentations .
For the presenter, Vibe’s laser pointer and annotation tool mean you can keep participants focused and take feedback in real-time. You can also transition through slides and play embedded media with your finger or using the Vibe pen.
Most importantly, you can collaborate with your participants from anywhere. Vibe is integrated with multiple video conferencing apps, which means you can present with confidence both in-person and remote.