Archives for June 2011

How to Post Your Presentation as a Video to YouTube

By Ellen Finkelstein

I get lots of requests for information on how to post a presentation as a video to YouTube. Here are four good options:

1) Use PowerPoint 2010. It outputs to WMV format. Use the commands Choose File> Save and Send> Create a Video. Then choose from a couple of options, as you see here. You can use existing timings for each slide or assign a timing. This is the absolute easiest method.

The video output will include sounds and narration, and even embedded videos!

2) Use Techsmith Camtasia Studio. For longer presentations, and when you want editing capabilities, Camtasia is a great tool with lots of features. I use it a lot. Camtasia is video-recording software, so you run through your presentation and Camtasia creates a video. You can record your voice as you go.

For presentations under 5 minutes, Techsmith’s Jing is easy to use. Jing Pro (an easy-to-afford $14.95 per year) lets you quickly share to YouTube. Jing is also a video-capture program and you can record your narration as you go.

3) CamStudio is free, open-source video-recording software.  I’ve only tested it once. It doesn’t let you edit your video.

4) Authorstream, a presentation-sharing site, lets you convert up to 5 minutes to video and upload it to YouTube. They have paid versions that will let you convert more time.

To get the best results, you’ll need to know about slide timing and perhaps narration. On my website, go to Create a video effect for information on slide timing and to  Secrets for successfully narrating a presentation for information on narrating.

When you have your video output, you just upload it to YouTube the same way you would upload any other video.

About the Author:

Ellen Finkelstein is the author of How to Do Everything with PowerPoint 2007 (and 2003), 101 Tips Every PowerPoint User Should Know, 101 Advanced Techniques Every PowerPoint User Should Know and PowerPoint for Teachers: Dynamic Presentations and Interactive Classroom Projects.  Her web site,, offers the free PowerPoint Tips Newsletter, a PowerPoint Tips Blog and many ideas that help PowerPoint users create more effective presentations.

Interactive Presentation Tools Aid Technical Training

By Robert Lane

Herb Romer, an avionics instructor, uses interactive presentation teaching aids developed in PowerPoint 2003 to help students at the Canadian Forces Base troubleshoot electrical systems in military aircraft—what are known as Automatic Flight Control Systems (AFCS).

“The challenge,”  Romer explains, “is that my apprentices must learn how to troubleshoot and repair all aspects of an AFCS, yet at this stage of their learning, they are not ready to work on an actual aircraft. Therefore we simulate the real experience with interactive PowerPoint presentations instead.”

Students ‘measure’ voltages and connectivity values and work through fault-finding exercises by selecting test points within various simulation tools and interactive wiring diagrams.

Romer believes strongly that  these methods must be instructor led, to maximize the learning benefit. “Otherwise students tend to treat these simulations like a game and not as an educational tool,” he says. “We start by giving them paperwork explaining the problem and then ask them to formulate a plan of attack. Eventually they must explain reasons for their actions.”

Students start with a problem situation: for example, some piece of equipment isn’t working properly.

Figure 1, below,  shows a typical problem they might encounter while testing, with additional detail explained in accompanying paperwork.

Figure 1

Figure 2 shows the available interactive elements:

1. Wiring diagram sheet selection (upper left corner)
2. Sheet section selection (upper right corner)
3. Test points
4. Wire continuation (gray box with red line)

Figure 2

Says Romer: “Clicking a small yellow check point displays a simulated voltmeter with the voltage at that point. The meter in Figure 3 displays 28 Volts DC — the correct voltage that should be present if no problems exist. Therefore, this test point is OK.

Clicking return button on this slide takes the user back to the previously viewed slide, in this case Figure 2.

Figure 3

Figure 4 shows a selected test point having a value of 0 VAC rather than the expected 26 VAC. “That’s a problem and it gives learners an important clue,” Romer says. ” Ultimately, they must hypothesize what combination of variables might cause such a failure.”

Figure 4

If you would like more information on how this interactive training system works, Herb Romer has graciously agreed to answer questions or provide details. Contact him at:
About the Author:

Robert Lane is a U.S.-based presentation consultant specializing in visually interactive communication theory and is the author of Relational Presentation, a Visually Interactive Approach, techniques that are featured in this article.  Lane’s Web site,, features free demonstration video clips, tutorials, guides, and other resources that further explain the concepts discussed in this article. Contact him at:

Moderate with Moderation: 10 Steps to Running a Successful Panel Discussion

By Angela Definis

If you’ve ever moderated a panel discussion or have seen a poorly-run panel, you know how difficult the task can be: One panel member rambles on, another tries to dominate the discussion, and someone else disturbs the group by continually shuffling papers. It’s enough to make you shirk at the idea of ever moderating a panel.

But don’t despair. Moderating a panel discussion can be a rewarding experience—one that enables you to guide both the panel and audience while providing structure and support so the panel’s talent and expertise shine through. When you moderate effectively, you manage the audience and your panel members so everyone benefits.

The purpose of a panel discussion is to bring together top talent in one area so that a group of experts can share and build upon each other’s experience. Panel discussions are useful if an issue is too complex for one person to handle, or if the audience needs to be exposed to various people or viewpoints at the same session.

Typically, panel discussions have a goal in mind, whether to introduce a new concept, disseminate facts, show different points of view, get people thinking in a new direction, or any one of a hundred other possibilities.

Unfortunately, many panel discussions fall short of their objective and deteriorate into long-winded, disjointed, and boring mini-presentations from the various panel members. This is why having an effective panel moderator is so important. Even the most brilliant panelists need someone to guide the discussion, keep everyone on task, and ensure that the audience is engaged in a meaningful and lively discussion that ultimately benefits them.

To succeed as a panel moderator, use the following 10 tips.

1. Keep the Panel Small and Focused

Just because you’re having multiple perspectives on a topic doesn’t mean you need an army of panelists. Panels that are too large are unwieldy and difficult to manage, while panels that are too small make it difficult to flesh out all the points of view. The ideal panel number is the “fabulous four”—four experts in the chosen topic who have different experiences and who don’t always agree with each other.

2. Get to Know Your Panel Members

Gather the panelists ahead of time on a conference call to discuss the content and the format of the session. Plan out whether each speaker will be given a set amount of time, or if the session will be wholly interactive, meaning a moderator firing questions at the panel. If each speaker has a set amount of time, determine which panelist will focus on which part of the topic to keep from duplicating presentation points.

Finally, collect biographies of the speakers for introduction purposes. Make sure you have the pronunciation of each speaker’s name correct.

3. Plan the Questions Ahead of Time

No one likes to be surprised by curveball questions. And while a little controversy and “throwing people off guard” can keep things interesting, you want your panel members to feel comfortable and confident in the topic at hand. Therefore, plan two or three questions per panel member, and send them your questions ahead of time. Ask that they don’t create “scripted” answers to your questions, but that they merely review the questions and come up with some bullet points to discuss during the panel presentation.

4. Meet and Greet the Day or Night of the Event.

Arrange for you and your panel members to meet in the Speakers’ Lounge or the actual session room to introduce themselves and check in. Plan to arrive at either location at least 30-45 minutes before the session is due to start. Hold a brief rehearsal, reviewing the format of the session and either the questions you’ll start with or who will present first.

Also use this time to hook up and test any equipment, check microphones, set up notes, and get settled before the audience arrives.

5. Open With a Brief Reference to the Topic Being Discussed

The moderator sets and maintains the tone for the panel discussion, so it’s important to welcome the audience and lead into the topic with a short hook. A lengthy story is not appropriate, but a short quote, analogy, or anecdote will kick off the discussion, warm up the audience, and highlight the importance of the event.

6. Introduce the Panel Members

When it comes to introducing the panel members, you have two options. 1) You can have each panel member introduce him or herself with a short two-minute introduction, or 2) You can introduce the panelists. With the first option, you give the audience a chance to settle in and have a more personal connection to the panel members. With the second option, you set a more formal tone.

With either option, make sure you or the panel member adds a human element to the introduction. Simply listing job titles and credentials gets boring; therefore, try to mention some interesting tidbits, such as, “Jack is the father of quadruplets,” or “Shirley is also a backyard gardener who specializes in award-winning tomatoes.”

7. Keep the Focus on the Panel, Not on You.

Even though you may be a well known expert in the topic or have some celebrity status in your industry, don’t make the panel discussion about yourself. Your role is to guide the conversation, maintain an appropriate tone, keep people on task, and ensure everyone gets ample time to present his or her point of view. You are not there to give a formal presentation or state your opinions, so for now, keep them to yourself.

8. Prepare Your “Cutoff Phrases” Ahead of Time

Be prepared to cut off long-winded panel members or those who ramble off topic. Having some pre-planned cutoff phrases helps. For example, if someone goes off on a tangent that is not useful to the overall topic, you could interrupt and say, “You have an interesting point there, but we want to know more about ________.”

Likewise, if someone is dominating the discussion, watch the person’s natural breathing rhythm and then interject between breaths, “Thank you, Julie. Now let’s hear Bob’s perspective on this topic.” It’s always best to ask the panel members what “cutoff phrases” they respond to. Tell them you will use this tactic for keeping the discussion focused and on time.

9. Have Microphones in the Audience for the Question and Answer Session

Before opening the floor for questions, tell the audience any ground rules for asking questions that you want them to follow. Then, encourage the audience to ask questions, but never turn the microphone over to an audience member. If an audience member starts to drone on, politely interrupt and ask him or her to state a question.

If an audience member asks a question that’s overly specific to a single panelist or otherwise not particularly relevant to the concerns of the wider audience, don’t be afraid to say, “That’s an interesting question and perhaps better addressed in depth by Panelist A after the wider Q&A we’re doing now.”

Finally, if you’re in a big room, not everyone will hear the questions when they’re asked, so always repeat the question. Add one quick summary comment after each question to transition to the next question.

10. Give a Gracious “Thank You” to Each Panel Member

You certainly can’t thank your panelists enough for sharing their expertise. In addition to a verbal “thank you” after the panel discussion, some people give their panelists a small gift at the event or send a handwritten note afterwards, or both.

If you received positive feedback from your audience about the panel—either on feedback forms or just informally after the session—you should convey that information to your panelists.

Moderate for Success

When you do a great job as moderator by bringing out the best in the panelists, the audience will appreciate you. They’ll remember your name and seek out your expertise in the future. So in a sense, being a moderator is a great opportunity for you to enhance your credibility and your reputation, but only if you do it right.

Use these 10  tips to ensure your moderate with ease—and with power—so you can showcase your panelists and ultimately yourself.

About the Author

Angela DeFinis is an expert in professional public speaking. As an author, speaker, and CEO/Founder of DeFinis Communications Inc., she has spent over twenty years helping business professionals find solutions to their communication challenges and develop a broader repertoire of potent speaking skills. Contact her at

The Vital Role of ‘Active Conduits’ in Remote Sales Presentations

By Peter Cohan

The very best practice for remote sales demonstrations is to split your forces – to have a representative from your organization at the customer site to serve as the eyes for the person presenting the demo remotely. The person at the customer site needs to be an Active Conduit of information to the demonstrator – he or she needs to be the demonstrator’s “eyes” on-site.

The lack of this Active Conduit feedback results in poor communication, confused presenters and audiences, and inconclusive results. Executing the role of the Active Conduit is critical to the success of Remote Demos – a passive representative from your company at the customer site is insufficient and a waste of resources.

For many vendors it’s the sales person who typically sits with the customer at the customer site. Next best, if you cannot have one of your representatives present, is to ask your champion or coach to be your “eyes” for the meeting.

Here’s a brief list of the items that need to be communicated by the person at the customer site to the remote individual:

Before the demo:

1. Arrive at the customer’s conference room 15 minutes before the formal meeting is scheduled to begin to get things set up and operating correctly:

a) Start the collaboration tool (e.g., GoToMeeting, WebEx, Live Meeting, etc.) session on the customer side.

b) Help test and confirm screen resolution issues – “Yes, I can see your mouse across the full diagonal and we’ve maximized the screen here on the receiving end.”

c) Help test and confirm audio – “Yes, I can hear you fine… Here, let me move the conference phone microphones to better positions so that you can hear us better.”

d) Help test “latency” – “Looks like we have about a 2 second delay right now…”

2. Plan for managing questions – “Can you please plan to capture questions in a Word document from your laptop during the session?”

3. Review any other pre-meeting plans or issues.

During the demo:

1. Alert regarding “latency” – “Looks like you are about 3 seconds ahead of what we are seeing here… You may need to slow down.”

2. Somebody new arrives at the meeting – “Before you go on, we have a new participant in the room…” And to ask the three questions:

a) What is your name?
b) What is your job title?
c) What would you like to accomplish during our session today?

3. Somebody leaves – “Just to let you know, Bob had to leave the meeting….”

4. Unspoken questions
– “Hang on, it looks like Jennifer has a question [furrowed brow, raised hand, look of confusion, etc.].”

5. Inability to hear
– “John, let me repeat that question for you…”

6. Manage and alert during side conversations
– “Hold on, we have a side conversation going on about the capability you just presented…”

7. Provide “color” commentary, as appropriate
, e.g., “I want to let you know that they are all smiling and nodding their heads…!”

After the demo:

1. Debrief with the customer – face-to-face feedback provides nuances often missed via the phone.

2. Listen for “casual” conversations – what else are the audience members saying about the demo, the product, the company…

3. Afterwards, communicate this information back to the balance of the selling team.

You can train your own representatives to execute these items – or your champion/coach – by reviewing this list with them ahead of your demos. Following these practices will improve the outcome of your Remote Demos markedly!

About the Author:

Peter E. Cohan is principal of The Second Derivative. For more articles on sales demonstration effectiveness skills and methods, visit the company’s website at For demo tips, best practices, tools and techniques, join the DemoGurus Community Website at or explore the Second Derivative blog at

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