TEACH & TRAIN

Präsentieren bedeutet, mit Menschen zu sprechen.

Tag: street art

The writing on the wall

2009-10-25__14-47-59

Today’s post sits over at Überzeugend präsentieren, the German presentation weblog of Michael Gerharz. Thank you for asking! I really do appreciate what you are doing to improve presentations and your blog is on my class reading list for my students.

The article is about why I prefer to use my own images in slide shows: They hold a special magic. Slides with liner notes in invisible ink. My images provide me with an extra memory. I know exactly what line of thought I have tied to each of them, and they give my slide decks my own style, my very own handwriting. I believe in good handwriting.

Images dream, whisper and scream. Why not let them speak in your own voice? Voices carry.

P4107587

Seen in Berlin

 The post is also about using street art – graffiti as well as sticker art.

Whenever I am in the city, I collect examples of rough urban communication patterns. Images that go against the grain, that bring some grittiness into the class room. Something that is not all golden, hazy sunsets or cut out business suits. Something that makes the digital just a touch more tangible again.

Street art takes away from the glam and gloss of stock photography and thus keeps an audience’s mind from wandering away too far. Street Art needs to be looked at and explored.

It also often comes with a tag line and the writing on the wall may prove to be more inspiring than you would have thought possible.  If using such slides makes you less or more credible is something you must decide for yourself. I am only presenting the way I work.

Mind you, illegal art has rights too, so I usually add an image credit along these lines: Seen in Berlin.

As for my English speaking visitors: Even if you do not get the language, you may get the images.

The Writing on the wall. Guest post at Überzeugend präsentieren.

[Thanks to all the street artists involved!]

Street Cred

[Strictly speaking, this is is no lesson in presenting, only if you want to make it one.]

Stories are a common good.

They hide in the grass, trembling with anticipation, waiting to be picked up, waiting to be made real. They lie on the pavement. They are the writing on the wall.

And today I have plans, I want to get out of Smallville, get some air, get out of these woods, but I almost step on a story in front of my house and so I change plans and directions and follow a small story from its ending, the way I usually do, for like a cat’s tail a story’s ending holds all the secrets ever told and look! how it twitches with excitement, for not even a story knows where it may take you, if you let it.

After a few hundred meters I lose sight, right in the middle of the beginning – or the ending: stories are real push-me-pull-yous – and I need to decide should I turn left or right, but I am such a slow decision maker these days, and so I choose the road less travelled by, as I have learnt by heart, but this story follows a different path.

I trust my luck, though, and bookmark the right? wrong? corner, and when I return a few hours later, my cam full of unexpected crow, the story is still there, dozing in the warm afternoon sun and I catch up with, just as I had hoped.

Stories are patient animals, and if you treat them right and don’t overfeed them, they are usually home before you.

And so it begins – or ends – with the most magic words of all:

Img_1810

You have gone too far.

Img_1805

It is not here.

Img_1807

The snail. A bridge.

Img_1811

Hello. You there.

Img_1812

Faster!

Img_1813

You’re almost there.

Img_1814
Img_1711

Are you thirsty?

Img_1712

Drink me!

Img_1709

My birthday guests!

Img_1714
Img_1715
Img_1710

Mountain ahead.

Img_1815
Img_1816
Img_1817
Img_1818

Count the white squares.

Img_1819

And I count and recount and count again, but I can’t seem to get it right, and now my story is getting impatient after all and it loses itself, right before I can lose it again, and it fades into the amber of the woods, where nothing is ever forgotten, here in Smallville.