Today, we have a guest blogger. Elyssa is an editor and project manager at Brainstorm, a leading provider of online and onsite software training and one of our partners that provides customized content for your Productivity Hub.

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Have you ever sat through a presentation and struggled desperately to stay awake? (Maybe even when you were the presenter?)

One of the easiest antidotes to Boring Presentation Syndrome is to insert live action into your Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 presentation by using movie clips.

These can simply be funny attention-getters to kick off a presentation. Or they can be a more serious and integral part of the message. If you are a vendor selling a new type of bed to tanning salons, for example, you could include a short video that highlights the product’s important features.

The type of clip that you use will largely be determined by the tone and purpose of your presentation, but whatever you choose, it’s perhaps one of the fastest ways to capture – and hold – people’s attention.

Here’s what to do:

1. In PowerPoint 2007, on the Ribbon, click the Insert tab. In the Media Clips command group, click the drop-down arrow for Movie, and then click Movie from File.

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2. In the pop-up window, double-click the movie you want to insert.

3. You will be prompted to select how you want the movie to appear in the slide show. You can choose to have it start automatically or when clicked.

4. You can then position the movie object (displayed as a small screen shot) where you want it on the slide.

Inserting a movie into a PowerPoint presentation is a simple process that can have a hugely positive effect. Just make sure the video serves a purpose – even if it’s just to wake people up – and fits with your overall message. Watch a free, short training video on this topic by BrainStorm.

Elyssa