How To Use Movies To Reinforce Your Presentation Points Without Getting A License to Show The Clips

You are planning to conduct a workshop on communication and leadership for a group of middle managers. You just finished watching a great movie “Lord of the Rings” and you recall real gems that you could share. You view the movie again and locate the gripping scenes you want to show from the DVD to illustrate your points.

As you are writing your notes to add to your material, your son, the law student, says ” Hey we were just talking about the copyright law in class today. Do you have a license to show that clip?

The copyright act clearly lets us know that just because we have brought or rented the video does not mean we have legal right to show it in a workshop outside of our home or non-profit educational settings. But check out the law for yourself at
If you want to show a video like “Rudy, for example, because it is has some great motivational clips on self-esteem, you need to contact a place like the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (

There is a way to bypass the law legally and at the same time pump up your presentation.

Use your voice and body to show and tell the points you want to make. Yes, you heard me correctly. You practice telling the story clips that you were going to show in the workshop. Here are some simple ways to do it.

  • View the clips at least 2 times.

    Script out the scenes. Use great care in describing each of the characters. Include the physical characteristics as well as the body language they showed.

  • State the points you want to make in your script.
  • Practice the facial expressions and voice tones used in the clips.

    When you share the story introduce the points you want to share with excitement and enthusiasm in your voice. For example, “There is a powerful scene in the movie “Lord of the Rings that illustrates the heavy weight of responsibility a leader can feel”

  • Set up the story by explaining what has already happened in the story before you start sharing the scene.
  • Be careful to PAUSE before you share something if you want to set up anticipation and after you have said something that you want the audience to chew on.
  • If there is dialogue change your voice to assume the voice(as close as you can) of the characters that are in the scene you are sharing.
  • Restate the points you made in the beginning.
  • Someone reading this is probably saying, “But I’m not an actor or actress. This sounds much too dramatic.” My response to that is, “Give it a try” or “Purchase the license.” Bring the video experience to your audience. You will be better for it and your audience will remember your points.