Garr's greatest gift may be stating and showing the blindingly obvious in a manner so clear, so cool that we could not fail to read, hear, learn and inwardly digest it.
People simply cannot listen to a speaking voice and read at the same time.
Well, we can try, but fat chance of the audience absorbing either message. It follows as the night the day that the accepted style of slide presentation is utterly ludicrous. Why do we display words to an audience and simultaneously talk to them? This is as silly as trying to feed a baby and cut its hair at the same time.
If we say the same thing as the written words, that's pointless redundancy. If we say something different, the audience will struggle to absorb either message.
Powerpoint's original developers intended it to display images only. Good idea.
This penny-dropping fact has interesting implications for training courses developed in Flash with audio. We are pondering them this week.
Garr stressed that there is no one perfect presentation style, but that the idiosyncratic is precious. He showed video snips of wildly diverse presenters. A shy technical man who displays huge isolated kanji in sync with his speech. A stomping ranting demanding bully. And so forth. I felt relieved to get "permission" not to become bland. So in an exercise, our hugely brainy group of nine world leaders demonstrated a Punk style of presentation complete with immortal lyrics:
1, 2, 3, 4
Repetition, Repetition, Repetition... (or something).