Webinar/webcast vendors continue to promote the use of video in their products. It’s cool, it’s sexy, it has great marketing power. “Show the audience your face while you present to them!”
I don’t mind the use of video for peer-to-peer web meetings and the equivalent of videophone conversations. But I have long advised against webcam video for presenters in one-to-many webcasts or webinars, especially when it is the audience’s first exposure to you or your company. For a full in-depth discussion of my argument, click here.
Today, Joel Jacobs at Brainshark blogged in reference to video in a recorded presentation. He asked “Do We Need a Video of the Speaker Next to the Slides?” His answer was “NO.”
But lest you think this was merely one man’s subjective opinion, Joel referenced a 2005 study written up by Jakob Nielsen, where eyetracking of web users revealed that “Talking-Head Video Is Boring Online.”
Jakob’s research fascinates me. It is the first time I have seen scientific evidence that the much-hyped addition of video may not be giving you any benefits even when done correctly!
It may be time to challenge your belief that adding video is automatically going to help engage your audience or make them pay more attention to your presentation. You’ll probably do better by concentrating on quality content, extensive preparation, and building energy and interaction into your presentation technique.