With the average attention span of adults being 8.25 seconds, creating tailored content that engages your audience is key.1 Without well-crafted content, you’re at a high risk of losing your audience before your presentation even begins. Here are five tips for creating clinical content that will help you keep your audience engaged until the end.
When it comes to giving presentations, avoid reading to your audience. You don't need to put your talk track on a PowerPoint slide, just key points. Keep it interesting by including photographs, illustrations, or videos of the clinical content you’re speaking on. Used properly, videos can aid greatly in storytelling and framing your talk.
When it comes to loading video clips onto PowerPoint slides, you don’t need 4K quality because it may bog down your presentation when connected to external monitors. Scale 4K clips down to 1920x1080 HD size and export with h.264 or similar compression. This offers great quality and compatibility at a fraction of the file size. Keep your bitrate setting low for less load on your PowerPoint presentation, but high enough that the quality still looks good.
High quality videos are integral to any professional presentation.
The best option for endoscopic video capture is clear, 4k video. Ensure you white balance your camera for true color representation and maintain focus. Even if converting and compressing for web, it is better to start with the highest quality possible. It also gives you options when editing.
If you’re recording external video, such as including yourself on camera, ensure a professional background without clutter or harsh backlighting. Don’t rely on overhead lighting to make you look good. Instead, use proper foreground lighting techniques to create depth (bring you out from the background). Provide visual interest by playing with shadows so one side of your face is slightly lighter and the other is slightly darker with more light fall-off toward the edge.
If recording voiceover, speak clearly and concisely and ensure the room tone is consistent (i.e., if the AC is on, make sure it is on during the entire recording). Always remember to playback your recording and make sure there are no clipped or muffled tones. Your audio should peak at -6dB and normalize around -12dB.
If your video is for YouTube or a similar channel, you may bump up the bitrate. You don’t always need to compress to h.264, as YouTube will create versions for streaming at different bandwidths/qualities.
Frame Your Story
Humans are wired for storytelling, so take your audience on a journey.
Starting your story at the right point is crucial. If you get too technical or assume your audience has more knowledge than they do, you will lose your audience quickly. Begin with a quick introduction of the topic and give the reasoning behind why they should care so deeply. Think about why you are passionate about the story and grow from there. Tell the audience about the problem you’re solving versus boasting about your success.
More Engagement (Less is More)
Keep it simple. Note your target audience and tailor your content to them. Think about what would keep them engaged throughout the entirety of your presentation. Don’t clutter the screen with text when you can just add key phrases that your audience can focus on more easily.
This is also true when it comes to editing videos. The quicker the pace, the easier it is to keep your audience engaged. This means breaking shots up into shorter clips instead of playing one long clip. Make the video as long as you need to tell the story, but no longer.
Consistency in Brand and Style
Don’t forget about your personal brand. Use humor, or appeal to the emotional side, to break the ice and inspire the story.
Don’t be afraid to show your passion. The more enthusiastic and genuinely excited you seem about your field of expertise, the more engaged and responsive the audience will be.
As always, make sure all your slides and relating content are prominent to your brand. Use colors purposefully, make graphics clean and clear, and make sure everything matches.
On your PowerPoint slides, there is no need for transitions such as 3D cube spins, and no need for layered drop shadows on electric yellow text. Pick a professional, standard transition and be consistent with it.
When presenting your clinical content, remember that you’re the expert. Everyone is there to learn from you.