How many slides must a man present before he must stop and vent?

Lately, I’ve become bored with creating and giving presentations. (I know, you’re thinking, “what took you so long?”) People in the office say I’m good at it, and I’ve certainly done enough to feel comfortable and competent, but after a while, it just gets old. So I decided to try a different approach.

I’ve been reading Presentation Zen for a while, and I’ve been interested in typography for a long while. After fumbling around with some ideas myself, I found this 18-month old post on PZ about the Takahashi Method and the Lessing Style of presentation, which led me to this inspiring (in form if not in content) preso by Dick Hardt, which led me to try some radically minimal slides in a recent presentation to one of the product teams on the theme of “What is Corporate Communication?” Here are some samples:

It was a rush job and certainly not my best work in sides or in delivery,

but I got my message across and was at least as interesting and engaging as the other presenters

I used 55 slides for a 15-minute time slot, and I think there was time to spare.

As the number of slides goes up and the time you spend on each goes down, the slides almost merge into a flip-book or a film. I wonder if in the future, more and more presentations will be more like movies or flash animations that run while the presenter talks?

It makes you think of D.A. Pennebaker’s Bob Dylan proto-music-video for Subterranean Homesick Blues from his film Don’t Look Back. Maybe I’ll do a preso like that some day.