Sadly David Bowie left us few days a go. One of the great names in modern music. Although older songs (from Life on Mars to Absolute Beginners) are the ones that resonate with me I take the cue from one of his latest videos: Where Are We Now?
Director Tony Oursler overlays the lyrics as they are sung, which is effective in the video.
If, like me, you are not a rock-star, but rather do public speaking, then the advice is to avoid that effect. In our world the equivalent is to use visual aids (slides) with the same words we are going to speak, Or very close. Despite there are few cases where it works, and amongst all I can think of Lawrence Lessig‘s presentations, the vast majority of the time the outcome is dreadful. Using slides with the text of our speech should be ditched as professor John Sweller reminds us:
“It is effective to speak to a diagram, because it presents information in a different form. But it is not effective to speak the same words that are written, because it is putting too much load on the mind and decreases your ability to understand what is being presented.”
— John Sweller
My advice? If you have written down what you are going to say, it’s time for Changes, don’t be public speaking Absolute Beginners: Sound & Vision should complement each other, not repeat themselves.