Archives Michael Kolowich

10 more new things you can do with Knovio Gold

Recently, we published a list of ten things you can do with every Knovio Upgrade. But you’ve chosen to step up your game with Knovio Gold, and I wanted to share with you ten more things that come with that step-up in capability.

Ten Key Knovio Gold Features

  1. Create a quiz or KnowledgeCheck. Whether you’re an educator, trainer, or marketer, you’ll find power in being able to ask your viewers questions along the way. We support open-ended questions, too!
  2. Sign in your viewers with a guestbook. Want to know exactly who’s viewing your content? Add a guestbook form up-front, and it will instantly shed light on who’s watching.
  3. Add a password to your presentation. The guestbook feature allows you to require a password so only the invited can watch your content.
  4. Export with the highest possible online video resolution. While every Knovio upgrader gets 720p video export, Knovio Gold kicks it up to a full 1080p. Crispness to impress!
  5. Get detailed viewer-by-viewer tracking information. In combination with Knovio Gold’s guestbook feature, you’ll get detailed, viewer-by-viewer reports not only on who watched, but how engaged they were, what questions they answered, and more.
  6. Use your content in a learning management system. With Knovio Gold, your Share page now lets you export a SCORM file that allows your Knovio to be snapped right into SCORM-compatible Learning Management Systems.
  7. Embellish your quizzes. Don’t just ask questions in text — embed images, add right/wrong answer feedback, and scoring criteria. And use our unique multi-section quizzing to sprinkle questions throughout your Knovio, not just put them at the end.
  8. Issue completion certificates. Whether you’re certifying your viewer or just wanting to give reinforcement and encouragement, you can issue customized completion certificates to those who pass your quizzes.
  9. Customize your guestbook with the fields you want to track. Don’t just use the fields we supply. Ask your viewer just about anything when they register, and have it show up in your tracking reports.
  10. Get detailed notifications when someone watches. Set Knovio up with notifications to let you know by email when someone watches, and send you information about their level of engagement.

A great way to get started on these Knovio Gold features is to read the easy-to-follow documentation we’ve written: “Creating Quizzes with Knovio Gold”.

Remember, these are all in addition to the new features that every upgrader gets. If you missed the post and video series on that, you’ll find it here: “Ten New Features that Every Knovio Upgrade Gets”

Videos: 10 Things You Can Do with Every Knovio Upgrade

knovio-pro-features-video

Let’s be honest. The reason many people upgrade their Knovio is because they hit one of the limits of the free edition: recording time, number of presentations, or standard-definition video export. But when they get their upgrade, they find a whole new world of features — and new creative possibilities — open to them. New designs. New interactive features. New tracking.

I’ve just completed a new video series to help upgraders discover and learn the new power within their hands. And every one of these videos was made with Knovio Pro. I hope these are helpful as you continue to learn and explore Knovio.

10 Key Features of Every Knovio Upgrade

  1. Clickable chapter navigation – Your viewers now see a list of chapter titles, taken from your PowerPoint slides.  You can also change these chapters.  (See how.)
  2. Alternative player designs – You now have more than a dozen player layouts to choose from, to give your Knovio different looks and interactive features.  (See how.)
  3. Embedded video clips – You can insert video clips right into your Knovio and show them in the flow of your slideshow.  (See how.)
  4. Footnotes and attachments – Enhance your slideshow with dynamic footnotes, reference links, and attachments that can invite your viewer to find out more.  (See how.)
  5. PowerPoint animations – Unlike with the free version, your upgraded version of Knovio takes full advantage of the animations that are built into PowerPoint, and give you the ability to step through those animations as you narrate.  (See how.)
  6. HD video export – While the free version lets you export Knovio to standard-definition video files, now they can be rendered in full high-definition 720p crispness.  (See how.)
  7. Email receipts – Send your Knovio to someone, and get a detailed report back by email when they view it: when, how much, and even an engagement score to see how they interacted with it. (See how.)
  8. Personalize with your logo and colors – While our blue, white and gold templates are designed to be attractive, we understand you might want to customize the appearance of your Knovios with your own branding, including a logo for your business or school. (See how.)
  9. Set autoplay, looping, and redirect – With your new Knovio version, you have much more control of how your Knovio plays.  You can set it to auto-play or even loop continuously, and you can even set it to redirect to another web page after it’s finished playing. (See how.)
  10. Your Knovios Won’t Expire – We assure you that your Knovios will stay online and available as long as your account is current, unlike Knovios created with the free product, which are subject to deletion.  No advertising on your Knovio player, either!

Knovio Gold and Knovio Suite users get even more capability — like quizzes, registration, password protection, detailed tracking and more. We’ll cover those in a future video series.

Knovio Goes to College

One of the more remarkable things that’s happened in the 14 months since Knovio officially came out of “beta test mode” has been its rapid — and quite organic — growth on college and university campuses.  Without a single advertisement or marketing campaign, Knovio has taken off purely through word-of-mouth, to the point where there are now more than 1,500 “.edu” domains represented in the Knovio user base.  More than half of the 170,000-plus registered Knovio users self-identify as educators or students.  We’ve found Knovio being used on campus in 33 countries on six continents, and in all fifty United States.

Knovio is popular among both faculty and students and even staff on campus:

  • For educators, Knovio is an easy and painless way to create “flipped classroom” lectures (to be watched before coming to class), multimedia teaching and “how-to” notes, reports on faculty research, and distance learning content.
  • For students, Knovio is a great way to submit presentation-based assignments (especially collaborative group work), as well as to practice their presentation skills (especially if they are not native language speakers).
  • For staff, we’ve seen Knovio used for distributing orientation material, onboarding new employees, virtual open houses, and alumni/donor communications.

All of this was a delightful surprise to us at KnowledgeVision, a company that has traditionally been business-to-business — that is, serving corporate learning, content marketing, sales enablement, corporate communications, and investor relations.

But the market was telling us something important: Knovio and the college campus are a natural fit!  So now, we’ve sought out and found a committed educational technology partner to help us tune Knovio to the higher education marketplace.  So let me introduce our new strategic partner for higher education, Jenzabar Inc.

JenzabarLogoJenzabar is one of the leaders in providing technology to the college and university community.  Originally rooted in student information systems, Jenzabar is now investing heavily in e-learning platforms in order to cover even more comprehensively the entire student life-cycle — from admission and enrollment, to registration and course selection, to course administration and grade-keeping, to billing and even alumni relations.

Knovio fits right in with Jenzabar’s modern eLearning platform — a Learning Management System that works seamlessly with the college’s other administrative platforms.  An advanced version of Knovio will be intimately tied in with Jenzabar eLearning, even to the point of passing embedded quiz results and grades directly into the Jenzabar grade book.

Over the coming weeks and months, watch for a whole series of joint initiatives in the higher education market from Jenzabar and KnowledgeVision, starting with Knovio Campus — a plan that puts an advanced version of Knovio in the hands of every student, faculty member, and staffer on campus, at a very low price, tied to enrollment.

We’re very excited about this partnership and what it means for the future of Knovio on campus.  And we’re grateful to the tens of thousands of students and educators who have discovered and adopted Knovio on their own, making this partnership not only possible but also the best outcome imaginable.

Jenzabar CEO Bob Maginn announces the company's strategic partnership with KnowledgeVision at the Jenzabar Annual Meeting of college and university customers, in June 2016.

What Network News Anchors can Teach you about Framing Video Selfies

After looking at a few thousand video “selfies” made with the Knovio online presentation tool, the conclusion is inescapable: most people don’t intuitively know how to frame their self-headshot for maximum effect.  It’s worthwhile, then, to take a moment to see how the network news programs showcase their anchor talent, and then apply that to Knovio.

Take a look at these shots of some of the most visible news anchors in America.  What do you notice?

network-news-anchor-video-framing

The framing of each of these standard shots is characterized by three things:

  • The top of the person’s head is close to but just below the top of the frame;
  • The shoulders of the speaker are clearly visible; and
  • The eyes of the speaker are approximately 1/3 of the way from the top of the frame.

In contrast, take a look at these (disguised) headshot video images taken straight from publicly-distributed presentations made by Knovio users: misframed-shots

These display the most common mistake made by Knovio users: improper framing, with too much headroom.  And because we as television viewers are conditioned to a certain style of video framing, the result is that the video can be distracting.  What’s more, improperly framed videos rob the viewer of the chance to read your body language, facial expressions, and gestures that can add to your Knovio story.

rule-of-thirdsVideo producers often talk about the “rule of thirds” in composing a video frame, in which the most important elements of the picture fall on the one-third mark within the frame (see the reference image to the right).  In a single-subject image like a face-forward headshot, the vertical lines are less relevant, but it’s generally agreed that the most powerful framing is achieved by placing the presenter’s eyes on the horizontal line one-third of the way down from the top of the frame, and the top of the head just below the top of the frame.

michael-kolowich-rule-of-thirds-video-framingHere’s how this applies to a presentation I recently recorded for Present-It.com (see the image to the left).  By keeping your eyes on the one-third line, your head just below the top of the frame, and your head centered in the frame, you’ll look your best, and be in position to take full advantage of the gestures, body language, and facial expressions that are very much part of a well-presented Knovio story.

Present-It.com: Sharing Your Knovio with the World

You’ve finished recording a brilliant Knovio presentation.  You’ve made great slides, figured out just the right way to articulate your idea.  You’ve given a brilliant, high-energy performance to your narration.  And you’ve pressed PUBLISH.

Now what?

If you’ve got a high-traffic website, or lots of Twitter or LinkedIn followers or a ton of Facebook friends, you’re on your way: you can use Knovio’s embed codes and social sharing options to get the word out.

But if you don’t have those channels (and even if you have), you’re a bit stuck.  Now, there’s an answer: Present-It.com.

Present-It-ScreenShot-May2016The idea for Present-It.com came to me when I was looking at a lot of the great presentations that are being created on Knovio that deserve a lot more attention than they’re being given.  Despite the fact that the internet is a very busy place, it’s not always easy for a brilliant idea to be spontaneously discovered.

So we decided to do something about it: Present-It.com was born, and we launched it just a few days ago.

Present-It.com is an online home for multimedia presentations — the kinds of audio- and video-narrated presentations that are made with Knovio and other KnowledgeVision tools like KVStudio.

Present-It.com is designed to be an interesting destination in its own right: you’ll find all kinds of intriguing presentations just by browsing the “Featured” section, where we select some of the most interesting content that’s recently been published.  But just as importantly, Present-It.com exposes Knovios instantly to all the major internet search engines, making them more easily discoverable in web search results.  It also makes it easier to share presentations that you’ve discovered, and to show appreciation by giving high ratings to the best content.

Just in its infancy at this writing, Present-It.com will continue to grow and evolve as a medium.  I hope that every Knovio user will consider publishing their best content into Present-It.com, and that they’ll continue contributing to a robust and energetic community of ideas.

Why Online Presentations Matter

Every day, according to Microsoft, more than 30 million PowerPoint presentations are delivered.  That’s about 21,000 a minute.

There are more than one billion copies of PowerPoint installed on computers around the world.

An estimated 120 million people know how to create a presentation on their computer.

As much as we all like to complain about “Death by PowerPoint”, it is the medium of choice to deliver business plans, marketing pitches, company updates, and corporate learning.  In fact, no other visual communications medium is so ubiquitous in business.

As someone who was there in the infancy of computer presentations (I was part of the team that brought Lotus Freelance to market in 1985), I’ve watched with fascination as presentation software evolved from the early innovations of Freelance and Harvard Graphics, only to be swept aside by PowerPoint in the Microsoft Office tsumani.

Frankly, innovation in presentation software stagnated with PowerPoint’s dominance, and despite some flashes of brilliance from the likes of Prezi and Keynote, not a whole lot has changed in the last two decades.

Until now.  And it’s happening, like so much else, ONLINE. Read more

“Reading Decks” and the Slideshare Dilemma

Just about every piece of modern advice about creating PowerPoint presentations offers the same kind of tip: when crafting a slide, less is more.  And that especially applies to words on a slide.

“Use big, bold images and an evocative, memorable phrase,” the experts say.  They point to Steve Jobs, one of the most powerful presenters of all.  Jobs rarely used more than two or three words on a slide.  Sometimes, just a single number would make his point.

That’s great for live presentations.  Minimalist slide decks focus attention on the storyteller, not on the slides.  And the elimination of long, wordy slides forces speakers to resist the temptation to merely read bullets off the screen.

But have you ever had this experience: You attend a great presentation — one whose concepts you want to share with your colleagues.  The speaker says, “My slides are available online on SlideShare.”  You go back to the office, open the deck, and all you see are images and a few scattered words.  Sharing the deck with your colleagues is useless: you “had to be there.”  Much of the commentary behind the slides is lost.

Read more

Nailing your Next PowerPoint Presentation: A Step-to-Step Guide

My daughter Lindsay Kolowich, who writes for HubSpot’s blog, just published a very useful guide to improving your PowerPoint presentations.  Every Knovio user should take note, because a great Knovio typically starts with a strong PowerPoint deck.

Here’s an outline of what she talks about in her article, “The Start-to-Finish Guide to Nailing your Next PowerPoint Presentation”, along with simple instructions and suggestions.

Read more

Five Tips for Injecting Personality into your Knovio

At the heart of every great presentation is a skilled presenter. Great presenters are storytellers. And because audiences need more than slides, they tell stories with powerful interpersonal communication tools, like gestures, posture, and facial expressions. Great presenters know we’re wired for body language.

But in the digital age we have fewer opportunities to connect with our audiences on a personal level. We increasingly use online presentations, webinars, and meeting tools, which often fail to capture the body language and personality of the speaker.

The result? They fall flat, failing to take full advantage of the power of personality and storytelling that a good presenter offers to a live audience.

So what’s a communications professional to do? Read more

Exactly what IS an Online Presentation?

Ask ten business professionals what an online presentation is, and you may well get ten different answers. That’s because online presentations have exploding into the online world with an exciting variety of tools and techniques, one of which is Knovio.

An online presentation is a type of content that brings the traditional business presentation (typically Microsoft PowerPoint, Keynote, or PDF deck) to an anytime, anywhere environment online. Online presentations can take several different forms. In many online presentations, slides are just the start. You can add audio or video, web pages, photos or images, video clips, forms, links, documents, transcripts, and social media feeds into a single interactive presentation viewer. Read more