seven walks

5. Build the powerpoint presentation.

I remember that when I was an engineering student I had to give a 20 minute presentation on my final year project. 20 minutes long (no longer) and a maximum of 6 overhead transparencies (absolutely, categorically no more).

Here I have only 5 minutes and the visuals will play an important part in conveying a sense of how the exhibition was presented. (ie there will have to be more than 6 of them!)

I will have to keep all text to a minimum – no time for bullets (although that’s probably no great loss!) and the images will have to count. Each one must serve a pupose.

I’m thinking about two things I’ve seen recently: an article on the
Takahashi method
(minimal use of text, but what there is is very large) and Dick Hardt’s OSCON 2005 Keynote presentation (a barrage of images, each only flashed up for a second or two, but beautifully choreographed with his spoken words).

Can I blend the two?

One thing is clear: I will not have time to do a room-by-room account of the exhibition. I will need to decide on the important points and the rest will have to go in the accompanying paper that I need to submit.

Whilst I’m not at home (and thus away from the temptations of PhotoShop and PowerPoint!) I’m going to do some skeletal slide outlines.

  1. Introductory slide
    • Text – Seven Walks, Francis Alÿs
    • Image – Boots
    • Talk – Name the exhibition; why it is relevant
  2. 1
    • Text – location
    • Image – 21 Portman Square
    • Talk – rental of premises; relevance to railings
  3. 2
    • Text – railings
    • Image – railings sketch
    • Talk – describe room
  4. 3
    • Text – projector
    • Image – bottom of stairs projector
    • Talk – describe


OK, it’s now Monday afternoon and I’ve come back to this having not looked at it for 24 hours or so.

I’ve come back to the idea of using floor plans, but I don’t think I have time to discuss it explicitly. I’m going to try getting the audience to do some multi-tasking. I’m going to use floorplans as part of the background and then move my main image into the foreground.

So, originally my slides might have looked something like this:

railings a

Large text with a muted background image. Not quite Takahashi, but going along with the main principles.

Now I will try making the background image a bit more muted, but containing some sort of contextual information, amd then having the main image I am refering to in the foreground with the text.

railings b

I could even try making it look a bit better, but I am not sure if even this is getting a bit too fancy?

railings c

I’d better get some floorplans done…