Home » Blog » The Match Cut in Presentations

The Match Cut in Presentations

Oct 20, 2022 | Presentation Design

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.

Add action

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.

Bottom line

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! 😉

Thank you for reading.

More articles

What is your opinion?

Before you post a comment, please read our Privacy Policy, so you know what is happening with your data.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles