This is the print version of this page. All content is copyright Indezine.com 2000- .



Nigel Holmes at the Presentation Summit 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015
posted by Geetesh on 3:17 PM IST



After delivering an amazing keynote session during the Presentation Summit 2011 in Austin, Nigel Holmes returned to this conference to present the first keynote of the conference in New Orleans in September 2015.

Nigel began by asking everyone to place a card that had a printed smiling lip over their lips -- he then clicked a picture of the audience!

Smile

He then shared a humorous video about cheese and how cheese brings up romantic feelings!

Yes, that was humorous. Speaking of humor, Nigel talked about humor, good humor, good feelings, and feelings -- and then emotions.

Nigel then shared a quote:
Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions never lie to you.
- Robert Ebert
Nigel shared some thoughts:
The best way to connect with people is to make them smile -- not really laugh but just smile.
Humor has a close connection to human emotion.
Nigel then explained how you can save yourself from being eaten by an alligator. He certainly used a visual to explain this concept.

Alligator

Now, making fun about how you can save yourself from an alligator while you are within the alligator -- that may not appear to be too funny to some people! As Nigel added:
But -- and it's a big, heavy "but", this is not trivializing information as some purists may fear.
He also added:
Here's the dilemma. Just because it is serious, does it make it authoritative? Just because it is light hearted, does it make it not authoritative?
Sometimes, these situations may lead to unexpected results. A particular scientist was upset when his research was being presented as a cartoonish visual. He was offended that humor was being used with his work. He complained, "You are making fun, you are making fun of my life's work!" But then, after the visual was published, he had a different opinion. He said, "Now my colleagues can see and understand better what I have been doing all these years!" And yes, the scientist said "thank you"!

Nigel clarified his thought process further:
Humor is not convincing others to be funny, but to be approachable.
He then quoted Confucius:
Tell me and I will forget;
Show me and I may remember;
Involve me and I will understand.
- Confucius, 450 BC
Nigel then asked everyone to do the paralysis test.

Paralysis Test

  1. With your ring finger extended, rest your hand on a flat surface.
  2. Press your hand down firmly.
  3. Now try to lift your ring finger.
  4. That's what it feels like to be paralyzed.
He showed a hand poster from the New York Times.

Hand Poster from NY Times

He asked the audience to notice that the size of the hand on that page was essentially many times larger than an actual human hand. Why was it larger? To explain this reasoning better, Nigel asked 6 attendees to come forward and participate in a small exercise.

6 attendees participate

He showed them three pictures: First, they were shown a picture of the facade of the hotel in New Orleans.

New Orleans hotel

He then also showed a picture of the Lascaux caves in France, from around 16,000 years ago.

Lascaux caves in France

Finally, he showed a picture of the Chauvet caves in France, from around 32,000 years ago.

Chauvet caves in France

Nigel then remarked that paintings were not too different 16,000 and 32,000 years ago. So that must have been one long art movement!

Why did Nigel talk about something that was millions of years old? That was because he wanted to explore differences between a million, a billion, and a trillion -- especially between a million, a billion, and a trillion seconds.

Nigel used exercises for the participants to make these differences obvious.

Participants make these differences obvious

He also explained differences between a byte and zettabyte.

Bytes and Zettabytes

So why this talk about millions, billions, and trillions -- or even a discussion about bytes and zettabytes? That's because everything relates to context. This context explains and makes one understand better. Context also lets you visualize.

Getting back to context -- and talk about millions and billions, Nigel opened up bundles of dollar notes -- he actually had a million dollars! Were they real? Let's leave that to your imagination and get to the context part now! So a million dollars, when stacked above each other in wads would go up a little higher than 3 feet. A billion dollars would be twice the height of the Empire Sate Building. And a trillion dollars may take us somewhere in space?

Millions and billions

Nigel then showed a visual of the moon. He compared the size of the moon to the size of USA or Australia. Nigel also showed a context based graphic that wondered how large other planets in the solar system would be if the earth was the size of a cherry tomato?

Earth is a cherry tomato

Nigel shared some more thoughts:
Context helps bring out the sizes of things and their relations.
You understand something better when it is compared to something you know.
Leave space -- the eye can fill in space.
The eye can fill in space

Space creates a method to show something that's important and directs the eye.
The key to a great information graphic is editing. Editing is not the same as simplifying. In fact, the word clarify is better than simplify.
Simplification means eliminating the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
- Hans Hofmann
We cram in too much stuff into the spaces we are given.
It's just not graphics, toothbrushes are complicated too!
Toothbrushes are complicated too

Pie charts may be a no-no now -- but here's a pie chart of a pyramid.
Pie chart of a pyramid

Looking at seemingly different images relaxes the mind. When we see different things, we relax. May be that's why guitarists make those strange faces?
Guitarists make those strange faces

Nigel then spoke about a rainbow pencil that was made with paper of different colors. Sharpen the pencil and you will end up with lovely shavings as a result. Pencil shavings

Nigel then showed a gift from his grandson, a carrot sharpener. He then actually used the sharpener to create shavings from the carrot -- he gifted me one!

Carrot shavings

Nigel ended by paraphrasing whatever was explored in his keynote session, as shown in this slide below.

Learnings


Nigel HolmesNigel Holmes moved to America in 1978 to work for Time Magazine. He became graphics director and stayed there for 16 years. Despite academic criticism, he remains committed to the power of pictures and humor to help people understand otherwise abstract numbers and difficult scientific concepts, whether in print or in presentations.

Labels: , , , ,

Comments





Archives

April 2003  |   May 2003  |   December 2003  |   January 2004  |   February 2004  |   March 2004  |   April 2004  |   May 2004  |   June 2004  |   July 2004  |   August 2004  |   September 2004  |   October 2004  |   November 2004  |   December 2004  |   January 2005  |   February 2005  |   March 2005  |   April 2005  |   May 2005  |   June 2005  |   July 2005  |   August 2005  |   September 2005  |   October 2005  |   November 2005  |   December 2005  |   January 2006  |   February 2006  |   March 2006  |   April 2006  |   May 2006  |   June 2006  |   July 2006  |   August 2006  |   September 2006  |   October 2006  |   November 2006  |   December 2006  |   January 2007  |   February 2007  |   March 2007  |   April 2007  |   May 2007  |   June 2007  |   July 2007  |   August 2007  |   September 2007  |   October 2007  |   November 2007  |   December 2007  |   January 2008  |   February 2008  |   March 2008  |   April 2008  |   May 2008  |   June 2008  |   July 2008  |   August 2008  |   September 2008  |   October 2008  |   November 2008  |   December 2008  |   January 2009  |   February 2009  |   March 2009  |   April 2009  |   May 2009  |   June 2009  |   July 2009  |   August 2009  |   September 2009  |   October 2009  |   November 2009  |   December 2009  |   January 2010  |   February 2010  |   March 2010  |   April 2010  |   May 2010  |   June 2010  |   July 2010  |   August 2010  |   September 2010  |   October 2010  |   November 2010  |   December 2010  |   January 2011  |   February 2011  |   March 2011  |   April 2011  |   May 2011  |   June 2011  |   July 2011  |   August 2011  |   September 2011  |   October 2011  |   November 2011  |   December 2011  |   January 2012  |   February 2012  |   March 2012  |   April 2012  |   May 2012  |   June 2012  |   July 2012  |   August 2012  |   September 2012  |   October 2012  |   November 2012  |   December 2012  |   January 2013  |   February 2013  |   March 2013  |   April 2013  |   May 2013  |   June 2013  |   July 2013  |   August 2013  |   September 2013  |   October 2013  |   November 2013  |   December 2013  |   January 2014  |   February 2014  |   March 2014  |   April 2014  |   May 2014  |   June 2014  |   July 2014  |   August 2014  |   September 2014  |   October 2014  |   November 2014  |   December 2014  |   January 2015  |   February 2015  |   March 2015  |   April 2015  |   May 2015  |   June 2015  |   July 2015  |   August 2015  |   September 2015  |   October 2015  |   November 2015  |   December 2015  |   January 2016  |   February 2016  |   March 2016  |   April 2016  |   May 2016  |   June 2016  |   July 2016  |   August 2016  |   September 2016  |   October 2016  |   November 2016  |   December 2016  |  




Microsoft and the Office logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

Home | PowerPoint | Photoshop | PowerPoint Templates | PowerPoint Tutorials | Blog | Notes | Ezine | Advertise | Feedback | Site Map | About Us | Contact Us

Link to Us | Privacy | Testimonials

PowerPoint Backgrounds | Christian PowerPoint Backgrounds | Business PowerPoint Presentation Templates

Plagiarism will be detected by Copyscape

©2000-2016, Geetesh Bajaj. All rights reserved.

since November 02, 2000