Lawrence Lessig’s “Accompanying Slides” (Presentation Styles Series)

by Oliver Adria on 11/04/2009

lawrence_lessig1When I saw Lawrence Lessing’s Presentation at TED, I was quite amazed at how he did it. If you haven’t seen it, you can view it at the end of this blog post. He uses a LOT of slides but most of them are pictures or only contain a few words. The slide would change every 3 to 15 seconds (some of them include animations or video clips). And even though there are a lot of slides, they are only there to support his talk. If you would only take a look at the slides, then you wouldn’t understand what they’re about. I really like his style and it takes a lot of preparation (and lots of practice!) to do something like this.

Though, what I dislike about this style is that it is probably not as flexible, e.g. people won’t be able to ask a quick question in between, everything is scripted out already. Furthermore, his talk is a bit dependent on the slides. If the slides weren’t there, his story wouldn’t be as effective. I tried listening to the talk without watching the video, but often he would say something like “this technology” without saying what “this technology” actually is (in this case it was the airplane), so you are forced to look at the slides. But with a couple of tweaks, I suppose the presentation would also be able to be presented without the slides.

The storyline that he created is excellent. It is very well thought out and he goes from one point to the next, it has a line you can follow, and he uses a lot of examples. I really like this, examples make the arguments more believable and understandable. So if you have the time, try to take a look at the 19 minute presentation. It’s worth it!

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