Why async presentations are here to stay

For years I presented new design concepts on location at the customer’s office. It often happened that I had to give the presentation several times, because someone from another department also wanted to be informed. Until 2020.

Presenting on location at the customer was no longer an option. That is why I started giving my presentations in video form. Record once, present endlessly.

Flexibility and time saving

At first I didn’t immediately think it could work well. Am I missing human contact? And shouldn’t choices be made immediately? But after giving a short presentation twice, I found out that it actually works well. Some advantages.

  • Pause: The biggest advantage is that the viewer can pause the presentation or watch it later. That way everyone can watch the video at their own pace and at their own time.
  • Reach: The reach of your presentation can be much larger. You record a video once, and you send it to the people you think should see it. They can also forward it, so that an idea can really come to life within an organisation.
  • Time saver: In large projects you sometimes have to give the same presentation more than once. That is no longer necessary.
  • Consistent: Your story is very consistent. Everyone sees the same presentation, not a word spoken differently.
  • Record it again: If you are not satisfied with your presentation, just record it again.
  • Better feedback: Some people respond immediately, without thinking twice. Now they might respond a day later and the feedback is more grounded.

Human contact

If someone watches your recorded video, you have no direct human contact. You can’t be there yourself. This means that you cannot immediately receive feedback or start a discussion. You will have to arrange this in a different way. I don’t necessarily see this as a disadvantage myself, because I often find that I get better feedback a day later. More sincere, better substantiated and less social pressure for those who provide feedback.

Another problem is that you can’t tell if a viewer is getting distracted. If this were to happen during a real life presentation, you can respond immediately. But with a video presentation, the viewer now chooses a suitable moment when he or she wants to watch the video. So there is a good chance that there is enough attention for the presentation.

Wrap up

Async presentations are a big part of our current way of working. More remote and less distraction. Not for all presentations, but for many. I’m curious if it works for you too. Tell me your experiences at aljan@studiowolf.com or twitter.com/aljanscholtens.