How does multimedia enhance our messaging? If we removed the “how” from this question and just asked “Does multimedia enhance our messaging?” The answer would be a resounding yes. Pages upon pages of text are boring to read. Blogger Michael Bacos points out that not only is reading a bunch of text boring, but that the internet has shorted our attention spans (Bacos, 2013). Take a look at Bacos blog and you’ll see the information broke up with an interesting background and links to information about how to create PowerPoint presentations and Animoto. Sure, he would have included all of that information on one page, but how far would the reader have gotten before losing interest?
Color, font choices, layout, and graphics are all tools which enhance the written message. Bullet points in a PowerPoint, charts and Infographics, when done properly, help the audience digest the information.
Sitting in a room while a speaker drones on and on is likely to put more than one audience member to sleep. Video and audio technology adds to the interest of the presentation and the engagement of the audience. Take a look at any TedTalk and you’ll see how the speaker has enhanced their presentation with multimedia tools.
Are certain multimedia techniques more effective than others? Why? I’ve always been on the opinion that “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” All of the dissolving text effects in PowerPoint comes to mind. Does having text swipe in from the upper left hand of your screen, do a little dance, bounce and then settle in the middle really do anything for your message? Don’t do it. Just don’t.
I believe that layout – formatting, colors, and fonts are one of the basic multimedia tools around. When sharing data, clean graphs and infographics help focus your audience on what you’re trying to show them. We are a tactile society – music and video, done appropriately capture emotion.
The bottom line is to start with the end in mind. What is it you’re trying to achieve? And then figure out what multimedia tools will best help you get there.
Provide examples using multimedia tools and post the links to the blog to support your thinking.
Digital Magazines The school district where I work puts out an annual “state of the district” report. Printing hard copies of this eight-page, full-color document for every family in the district would be cost prohibitive. In addition, even the most interested and engaged parents would likely read the document once or twice and throw it away. With the use of the multimedia tool aXmag, my school district –and any other company- can create and publish an eBook complete with flappable pages.
Live Video Feeds and Archives My school district provides live feeds of Governing Board meetings as well as posting the videos for later watching. This is a great way to reach a community who may be interested in what’s happening, but are not interested, for whatever reason, in attending the meetings live. As what happens at a Tuesday evening Board meeting often affects my job on Wednesday, I quite often find myself watching the meetings live to see what’s happening.
Animoto Animoto touts itself as an app that anyone can use to create professional quality videos. They state that “video is the most powerful way to communicate what you care most deeply about” (Animoto). This seems to be the blog that pats my employer on the back because our Communications Team uses Animoto to create videos to promote happenings in the school district. Most recently, they created a video about Science Technology Engineering Art and Design (STEAMD) programs being offered at two of the district’s schools. While a spoken or written presentation about these programs would be likely to put the audience to sleep, a video was just the trick to engage and educate.
YouTube YouTube is not just for watching videos anymore. Musicians have been discovered. Movie studios use it to post movie trailers, companies post training videos, and it is a go-to place to learn to do things. I was recently designing artwork for the new album for a band. I wanted to create text in a circular pattern. None of Publisher’s text features were quite what I was looking for. Lo and behold, my answer could be found on YouTube.