Online Presentations

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?


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 (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. 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-ScreenShot-May2016The idea for 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: was born, and we launched it just a few days ago. 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. 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, 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, will continue to grow and evolve as a medium.  I hope that every Knovio user will consider publishing their best content into, and that they’ll continue contributing to a robust and energetic community of ideas.

Real Estate Presentation Primer: How to Connect with Buyers

Even if you’re a seasoned pro in the industry, it can be a good idea to take a metaphorical step back and take stock of your approach. Do you need to update your methods or contacts? Are your presentations as effective as they could be?

We’ve put together a brief checklist of things to consider while reviewing your presentations to sellers.

  •    Personalize it. Of course you know that personality goes a long way. Personalizing each listing can take a little more time than using the same presentation over and over, but it can pay off. The more sincerity and unique knowledge you can convey, the better. Rather than use generic market reports, get familiar with the surrounding locations and what other homes have sold for in the area.
  •    Pivot your viewpoint. Step into your sellers’, and potential sellers’, shoes when creating your presentation. This helps with the tone, pacing, and length of your content. Have they sold a home before? Are they short on time? Do they tend to ask a lot of questions?
  •    Professionalize it. If you’ve been using the same software or online tools since Day 1, it’s time to shop around for something more modern. A simple PowerPoint may have sufficed a few years ago, but when you update to a presentation tool like Knovio Pro you can personalize, customize, practice, edit, and share your presentations with ease.

Our free 14-day trial gives you the chance to see if Knovio Pro is the right tool for you and your business. With voiceover and video, Knovio enables you to highlight your strengths to sellers and potential buyers, too.

The Perks of Presentations

Today’s post is a salute to the residual benefits of making online presentations presentations. Whether you use online presentation tools for instructional purposes, or marketing or sales presentations, the skills you hone by composing and practicing your presentations can have a positive influence in other areas of your life.

  •    Build confidence – The better you become at organizing your thoughts, the more articulate you will become. This naturally leads to becoming more comfortable communicating with different audiences. As a bonus, it can help you in your written communications, where tone of voice can get lost and risk of misunderstanding is a bit higher.
  •    More relaxed social situations – People who speak well are also in a good position to make others feel at ease. That’s a win/win in both social and business-social settings.
  •    Better phone conversations – This is a benefit that’s often overlooked. Tone of voice certainly matters. Whether it’s a cold call to a potential client or a message for your manager, interpretation of your message is equally important as the way you convey it. Having an awareness of the fluctuations and impact of your tone leads to more effective communications.

Overall, refining your presentation skills can have trickle-down benefits into other areas of your life. What’s extra helpful about using the online presentation tools from Knovio is that you can replay and practice your presentations, and edit or correct mistakes as you go. You’ll be more organized, more effective, and as a result, more confident.

“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

The Change-Up: Cool Presentation Tactics to Keep Students Engaged

Educators are no doubt familiar with the struggle to catch, and keep, the attention of students, no matter what the age group is. There are a lot of presentation tools and websites to help you perk up your presentation, and the attention of your audience.

One tactic comes from what pitchers in baseball call “the change-up”: Throwing the ball at different speeds enables the pitcher to keep batters off-balance, and on high alert.  Applying this concept to your presentations can work in your favor in the classroom, too — not to mention when you bring your teaching online.

Read more

Balancing Show and Tell in Online Presentations

As you begin to create a presentation, whether it’s a live presentation, slide presentation or an on-demand multimedia presentation like a Knovio, it’s important to start by considering the audience. We all know that what you say is as important as how you say it. Let’s flip that perspective to our audience: What they learn is as important as how they learn it. 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