Why Your Presentation Needs Video—And 4 Simple Steps to Make it Happen


The only thing worse than sitting through a painful presentation is being the one talking through the cringe-worthy slides. 

Whether your upcoming presentation is in front of five people or 500, video is a great way to change things up and immediately capture the attention of your audience.

Ready to add a video to your next presentation? Here are three ways to use it, along with step-by-step instructions for how to add a video to PowerPoint—because let’s be honest, it’s not immediately obvious.

3 ways to use video in a presentation

1. Bring the right people into the room

Often, there are voices we’d like to add to our presentation, but we can’t get them in the room for a host of reasons. Whether it’s a customer testimonial or expert opinion that will help you nail your presentation, use video to let their voices be heard.

2. Tell captivating stories

Stories humanize your ideas and capture the audience’s attention. You can tell a story yourself, or bring a story to life through video. What is the impact of the solution you’re advocating for? Who’s benefiting from the work you’re doing? Feature a video at a critical moment to break up your monologue and give your audience a reason to engage.

3. Provide a learning or training moment

Instead of fumbling through a live demonstration, show a 1-2 minute instructional video. Then follow up with your own perspective to elaborate on anything the video might’ve missed and answered questions live.

How to insert video into Powerpoint

Follow these steps to insert video into your Powerpoint presentation:

  1. Open the Insert Ribbon at the top of the window. This is full of controls for inserting various elements onto your slide.
  2. On the far right, you’ll see a group of buttons labelled Media. Click on the Video button, which opens a menu.
  3. Click Video on My PC to insert a video from a file. Click on Online Video to insert a video from a YouTube link.
  4. Follow the instructions below based on which option you choose.
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If you choose Video on My PC:

  • Navigate your drive and choose the file you want.
  • The video will appear just like a picture—resize it and move it where you want on the slide.
  • Now, you have to make a choice: do you want the video to play automatically when the slide loads, or do you want to click the video to control when it starts? There is a new ribbon that will appear when the video is selected.
    • Click on the video to select it. Then, at the top of the window, you will find the Playback Ribbon. In that ribbon, there is a menu labelled Start. If you want it to play immediately when the slide loads, choose “Automatically.”

If you choose Online Video:

  • For this option, do a search on YouTube, then choose the video you want from those search results.
  • Note that with an embedded YouTube video, you do not have the option to have it automatically play. During your presentation, you will need to click on the video to start it.
  • Take note! You will need to be connected to the internet during your presentation or the video will not load.