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Oct 16, 2022 | Presentation Design

Sorry, but this post is not about writing a script for film or the­atre. It is a screen­play of a dif­ferent kind — the art of playing with the screen, the pro­jector screen.

When we give a talk at an external loca­tion, we often have to adapt to the avail­able tech­nical equip­ment on-site. We find pro­jec­tors fixed to the ceiling with a static pro­jec­tion area. This is a lim­i­ta­tion that can hurt our per­for­mance. How fre­quently do we see speakers unin­ten­tion­ally moving into the pro­jector beam because there is not enough space for them to move freely? It simply looks unpro­fes­sional. But what is the alter­na­tive? Standing in just one spot like we are glued to the ground? No! There is an ele­gant alternative.

Ladies and gen­tlemen, may I intro­duce The Screenplay!

Make a cut

What hap­pens when you project a black slide? Right, no light is being cast onto the screen. You can now move in front of the screen, and there are no ugly light shapes cov­ering you up. But there is also no slide either. Why not now com­bine the best of the two worlds? Pro­jecting our infor­ma­tion on the screen and get­ting a little more freedom of move­ment. “How?”, you ask.

It’s simple, really simple: By just cut­ting our slides in half! Using a black shape cov­ering up as much screen space as we need, and recom­po­si­tion the visual ele­ments onto the remaining area of our slide. Yes, many pro­jec­tors nowa­days use a 16:9 screen ratio, but who told our pre­sen­ta­tion to use the same?

By taking advan­tage of black areas, we can shape the pre­sen­ta­tion the way we want. You can even alter­nate between having the infor­ma­tion on the right side of the screen and the left. This way, it is pos­sible to use the whole stage during your talk. Playing with the screen takes a bit of prac­tice, but I promise you, your audi­ence will always remember this performance.

Bottom line

Standing in the pro­jector beam looks unpro­fes­sional and should be avoided at all costs. By adding black shapes to our slides, we are able to shape the pro­jec­tion area as we want. Let­ting go of the idea that our slides have a fixed format, we can make the stage bow to our needs.

Happy pro­jecting!

Thank you for reading.

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