Last post we spoke of how two revolutions have overlapped to lower the quality of picture and sound reproduction in every area of our lives. The digital entertainment revolution has compressed everything to fit through the web, and the Chinese manufacturing revolution has made equipment cheap and disposable. So the overall production values of presentations have plunged.
Here are a few tips to restore the production gloss so that people at your event get an experience worthy of the effort they made to get there.
Hotel ceiling speakers are designed for wedding speeches, and generally sound thin and tinny. A quality PA system will transform the impact of your video material, and lets you use music to greater effect.
Separate bass subs (professional ones, not the ones that came with your $200 surround sound system) take it to the next level. Movie theatres use them create that massive sound that makes going to the movies worthwhile. Your audiences ‘feels’ the soundtrack, and that creates a powerful impact.
Improve Your Image Quality
A lot of material is produced in HD now, then crunched down to standard DVD resolution for the live presentation. On the big screen, it can feel a little grungy, now that everyone has HD TV at home. Authoring your own DVD’s on your computer is another quality killer, as most domestic programs compress the picture even further.
If you need DVD’s to hand out, use a professional studio. If you’re showing something important, like your new ad campaign or corporate video, bypass the DVD’s, get a good, fast computer, and play it straight from a high-res .mov or wmv. file instead.
If it’s a important video, don’t embed it in PowerPoint, as it takes quite a while to get rolling, with your audience staring at the screen wondering what’s happening. Run the file in its native player in the computer.
Nothing adds atmosphere to a room like well-designed lighting. A good lighting designer can give your room instant emotion. And with modern lighting, you can change the mood instantly. Good lighting makes presenters look much better too, making them the star of the show rather than blending into the stage backdrop.
Use A Stage Set
Sets don’t just look good, they condition your audience’s expectations, so they perceive the presentation as being better than a standard speech. Here’s a more detailed explanation of how it works.
Use an Event Producer
Hire an experienced creative producer to plan out the presentation for you. They’ll do two things. Firstly, they’ll come up with creative ideas to get your message across. Secondly, they’ll stage manage the presentation so it all ‘feels’ right, like a theatrical show, with walk-on music, presenters entering and exiting the stage professionally, and all the other details that audiences draw a subconscious impression from.
Yes, they cost money. But consider the cost of the alternative: paying to entertain a room full of people who leave the room feeling ambivalent about your company and unlikely to take any positive action as a result.
This, by the way, is not a service Scene Change offers, being humble providers of technical services, but ask around and you should be able to find a good one.