Creating Short Topical Presentations
In practice, people have attention spans of 10-15min at a stretch for consuming media at the level of thought and analysis required for technical and scientific learning. Breaking up teaching sessions, adding variety to presentation formats, and changing how a subject is presented are all techniques that are scientifically demonstrated to improve learning.
For this reason, we aim to keep topical presentations to 10 to 15 minutes. If a subject absolutely requires more time than that, it should be broken up into two related presentations. Usually, though, there is a lot of time that can be trimmed out of a video presentation relative to a live classroom performance. Here are some time-saving tips:
- Avoid repetition. The viewer can always rewind.
- Pick up the pace and avoid stops. The viewer can always pause when they need to.
- Keep it punchy. Topical presentations are meant to introduce a subject and provide intuition. Printed media are more appropriate for detailed technical content that would be useful as a reference for later. Avoid incorporating too much reference material into a video.
There are many ways to do this, but I've chosen to copy what Salman Khan of Khan Academy uses:
- A Wacom Bamboo Tablet
- Quicktime Player (on my Mac)
Feel free to experiment, though.