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Choreographing presentations

I have a penchant for graphics. Perhaps I am a graphic artist in a parallel universe? In this universe where I am just a wannabe, I relish great visual presentations, whether videos, graphs, graphics, layouts, website, or anything else where some concept is communicated visually.

These visuals inspire me. That may not be evident right away, but the old brain cells register the inspiration, tucking it away to pop up at some future date. The fact that they do not relate to the actual work I am doing does not matter. Or perhaps that is the key. They might be so different that they simply jiggle my brain to get it to view some dry technical drawing from a – to me – previously unknown angle.

One source of inspiration is a recent addition to my Google Reader: Presentation Zen. I don’t remember who led me here, but this site is great. There are good posts, but the visuals are the big treat as in the following examples.

  • Mixing narration, text, and images are one topic in this post where the Google Master Plan is shown as an illustration of the idea.
  • The Lawrence Lessig method was discussed in another post. I didn’t know there was a name for this minimalist style, but it definitely caught my attention when watching videos by and with Lawrence Lessig.
  • Creative video presentations is the title of a post with several videos. I’d call it choreographing video presentation, which is how I especially view the Web 2.0 video by Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. It’s word choreography. (I also saw this on Rhonda’s blog.)

I include the Web 2.0 video here on this page as my first attempt to have a visual on my blog. (I fear it is not accessible, because there are apparently only 4 attributes for the FLV element. I must research this later.)

What I find fascinating is the flow of words, because it is just words – with a message! – that are written, erased, reversed, and generally played with to propose the idea, which is its title, The Machine is Us/ing Us.

I close with a comment about Patrick Hoffman, perhaps my favorite visual artist. Take a look at his presentation from an ISTC conference in 2006. I saw Patrick at the October 2006 STC Region 2 conference where he delighted an audience of technical communicators with his “wordless” presentation. I do hope can get him to come and make a presentation in Denmark this year. He’s presenting at the 54th STC conference in Minneapolis this year. There is a treat in store for those who attend his pre-conference workshop.

What fun and interesting presentation videos – or graphics have inspired you?