Al Gore Ditches Bulletpoints, Saves Planet

21 September, 2007

In a nice example of serendipity, the day after I posted my piece about image-heavy Powerpoint presentations, I watched Al Gore’s documentary on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth.

The film is basically Gore giving a presentation (using Apple Keynote rather than PPT, but the same principles apply) in front of an audience, occasionally fleshed out with personal reminiscences designed to show what a great guy Al is.

What’s striking about the film (apart from its eye-opening, often shocking content) is what a good communicator Gore is, and how well he uses his slides. Gone is the rather stilted, self-conscious performer of the 2000 presidential campaign; instead, Gore is relaxed, self-deprecating (his opening is “Hi, I’m Al Gore. I used to be the next president of the United States” – instant rapport!) and funny, as well as angry and passionate when required.

And following on from my last post, his visuals are superb. Very little text, lots of images and embedded video, and plenty of well-designed graphs & charts. And NO BULLETPOINTS!

Basically the film is a great example of how to deliver an enjoyable, informative and persuasive presentation, and essential viewing for anyone required to communicate information in this way. Lots of images, no jargon, plenty of personal anecdotes, and a relaxed, friendly delivery.

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