Les Posen is a fan of Keynote and audience-centred slideshows (as am I, and that’s where the similarities end!). I aspire to his level of understanding and competence with Keynote. This is is an interesting post about his recent meeting with the Keynote developers. Here’s a few bits to whet you appetite:
…my take on presentations was both complementary to Garr [Reynolds] and Nancy [Duart], but also came from a different place, away from designper se, and more from human learning and the brain sciences.
I showed how contemporary media are employing some of the graphical designs I too employ in my slide construction, and why.
What’s at the heart of Presentation 2.0? Think for a moment where we are now with Web 2.0. There is a direct line between service and product provider, and consumer, such that consumers or end users can blog, or tweet, or facebook about providers and influence the decisions of other potential consumers. We get valid information about product reliability for instance from bloggers and commenters on blogs, as much as we do from mainstream media reviewers. Think about the reviews you read on Amazon which includes “official” editorial contributions and reviews by purchasers, perhaps much more like us, and thus to be considered more reliable than biased writers.
Put these the concepts together, as I did to the KN team, and you come up with two properties in short supply currently (or more than ever before): Authenticity (who do you trust) andAttention (who should I attend to, given competing sources of information and competition for my time?).
I wanted the Keynote team to understand that when I construct my slides these two ideas stay in my mind, and they are more to do with my audience than they are with me. I need to establish my Authority and Authenticity for my audience to keep engaged, and I need to know how the brain works, so that despite my endeavours to increase the former two A’s, I embrace the challenges to the other A, Attention, which can wander due to how our brains function.
I spoke of these concepts early in my presentation, because it helps explain why I choose to perform certain slide constructions, and how I contemplate the intended impact on particular audiences. Now I don’t know how any individuals in the KN team responded to my audience-centric approach, but I do know on occasions in responding to their questions, I had to work a little to get my point across, given the team is very much about the end user experience. But in my case the end user is myaudience, and Keynote merely a tool to achieve a particular series of effects upon my audience.
And if I had the means, maybe I should introduce Graeme Pearman to Les Posen. Graeme Pearman is one of Australia’s most eminent scientists with an international reputation in climate science. I heard him speak once. There was no doubt about the veracity of his science, the urgency of his message and power of his evidence. Pity about the powerpoint preso though! There’s an article in todays’ Melbourne Age newspaper by Jo Chandler (yep, I still read newspapers) that explore’s Dr Pearman’s excursion into behavioural science to try and understand our inaction on the climate change message. Here’s a taster:
[Pearman] had a revelation. He had been suffering under the delusion that as knowledge of the physical world improves, ratoionalt-based information would lead to rational responses to such threats as climate change.
What behavioural scientists tell us is that rationality is circumstantially based. So what is rational to me is not rational to the next person because they come from a different circumstance. They also tell us that when we are confronted by a threat such as climate change, people experience many alternative emotions, and employ different coping mechanisms. The anxious might deny; the sad might avoid; the hopeless become resigned; the frustrated, cynical; the depressed, skeptical; the angry, just fed up.