Video Presentation: 7 Biggest Traps And How To Avoid Them


Do you use video presentation in your business? Are your prospects and customers satisfied with it? Is it really successful for you? If you already use or intend to use video there are some traps you need to know about.

1. The “Talking Head”

Please understand this. You may be thrilled by talking to a camera. It bores viewers. If what you’re saying really interests viewers, you’ll retain their interest for about 2-3 minutes. If you don’t grab viewers’ attention very quickly, they’ll loose interest within 90 seconds.

2. The “Off The Cuffer”

This is an extreme version of the talking heads. This person speaks without notes or script. They “ad lib” as a musician might say. They rely on their memory. They tend to waffle or hesitate when they speak. They give the impression of uncertainty about what they have to say.

3. The “PowerPointer”

These people love PowerPoint. They believe that it’s the answer to all their presentation prayers. PowerPoint is a valuable aid. But presenters need to know how to use it. The most common mistake is to put sentences or phrases on the screen then repeat them as spoken words. But viewers can read much faster than speakers can talk. They lose interest very quickly.

4. The “Pretty Picturist”

This person confuses presentation with prettiness. They use lots of colours, typefaces and design elements. They confuse viewers. Their presentation may be good to look at. But they impair learning.

5. The “Confuser”

Confusers simply don’t state the purpose of their presentation or what viewers can expect to learn from it. Viewers want to know the purpose of the video. To fail to tell them in advance is a fundamental error.

6. The “Distractor”

Distractors are related to confusers. They fill their screen with so much detail that the viewer simply doesn’t know where to look. And they usually talk at the same time. The viewer doesn’t know what to look at or listen to. Video is face to face communication but without the capacity for feedback. Your words must be precise and your meaning crystal clear.

7. The “Time Waster”

This person simply waffles. They take far more time than necessary. They display no concern about time pressures facing viewers. They disrespect viewers.

What To Do About It

  • Know exactly what you want to say before you start
  • Always use a prepared script, even for a two minute video
  • Always tell viewers what they can expect and how long it’ll take
  • Use aids such as PowerPoint with great care. PowerPoint is an aid. It’s not a crutch for poor presenters
  • If you want viewers to read a screen, do not read the same words aloud. And treat the screen as a page. Keep it clean and uncluttered
  • Keep presentations brief: the accepted wisdom is that a video longer than 15-20 minutes will cause viewer fatigue and disinterest
  • Keep your hands out of the picture unless you’re a very experienced presenter: it’s simply unprofessional to wave your hands about: and it distracts viewers from your words
  • Keep your hands away from your mouth
  • Look at the camera: “eyeball” the viewer. Only look away to something you want viewers to look at
  • Take care of your diction: it’s all very well to “be yourself”: if you can’t be clearly understood you’ll irritate viewers and they’ll “switch off”
  • Be aware of your background. Have nothing in the background that’s likely to distract the viewer. Beware of shimmery surfaces, familiar landmarks and telegraph poles that seem to be poking out of your head
  • If you’re using pictures merely to seem “trendy”; use audio instead
  • If you use or intend to use video, take some lessons from an expert.


It’s the YouTube era. So many people recommend that you use it for all sorts of purposes. But using video isn’t as easy as it seems. Sound video presentation skills are necessary if it is to be a feature of your business. And remember, as video becomes more widely used, clients and prospects will expect higher standards. Take no notice of the so called gurus who tell you how easy it is. It is easy to use. It isn’t easy to use well.