In cinematography, a match cut is an edit that connects two separate scenes with each other, either by a graphical element or an action. Our presentations can greatly benefit from this transition effect due to its entertaining nature.
In the book The Power of Moments, Chip Heath and Dan Heath point out four elements that can create meaning: Elevation, Insight, Pride, and Connection. With very low intensity, all of these elements can be applied to a match cut. It yields the power to make your presentation memorable and entertaining.
So why not try it out in your next presentation? Here are some things to consider when you would like to enhance your presentation with match cuts.
Define the matching object
In a match cut, the scenery changes. The matching element is usually one object or a group of objects. It does not have to be precisely the same object, but both should be visually or symbolically related to each other. At the exact moment where the cut happens, these objects should be roughly at the same screen position.
Sure, a match cut works if you only cut between two still images. But by adding a camera action or motion to some objects, your transition might be even more effective. For instance, it gives you the freedom to rearrange the visual composition, so it fits your second scene better. But even more importantly, animation can bring back the audience’s attention to the presentation, so they do not miss the transition.
Anticipate the Transition
A match cut happens in a blink of an eye. When the audience’s focus is currently not on the presentation, you might jeopardize the full potential of this effect. Anticipation is key. Give your audience enough non-verbal signals that they should move their attention back to the presentation. The article Guiding Attention on Stage elaborates more on that subject.
Keep the Balance
A match cut can be one of those things your presentation will be remembered for. It gives the audience a good time and should support your narrative. But making use of a match cut too often during your talk might devalue all of them at once. On the other hand, including just a single one might leave your audience disappointed since their expectations went up. Therefore, try to find a good balance while designing this presentation rollercoaster.
The match-cut transition can create some variety in our presentation and contributes to a more entertaining experience for everyone. To use its full potential, there are some things you should keep in mind. The scene is the changing element, but you need one object or a shape as a constant. When you add some motion to the transition, it can make it look more interesting, and it gives you more flexibility in your composition. When you present this effect, you need to make sure all eyes are on the presentation. Do not overuse it. Instead, make it a surprising accent in between your slides.
If you want to learn more about the match cut or need professional support, feel free to contact me. Who knows, maybe we are a match! 😉