If an image is worth a thousand words, imagine a thousand images…
It happens every so often that you might need to explain a complex concept or present a vast amount of data in a short amount of time. Why not, if applicable (and possible), present it as an animation or a movie!
In a previous post I have made a link to a spectacular presentation of Prof Rosling showing the worldwide evolution of household income as function of time. Loads of data, presented in a dynamic (animated) fashion. It works!
It is also quite possible that the data for any reason are too abstract or makes it difficult to grasp the significance until you “see” them. A good example of this has recently appeared on YouTube showing the break-up of the Greenland glacier over time. Again highly effective.
Over the past two years, a few of my students have used movies or movie-like animations to explain in less than 20-30 seconds very abstract and complex concepts at various conferences. While at first I saw this has a curiosity, it became clear very quickly that for their particular purposes, the use of such techniques have simplified greatly their scientific or technical presentations (usually 8 to 10 minutes time slots), decrease significantly the time needed for a detailed explanation and increased audience comprehension.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, do not underestimate the power of thousands of images… used correctly 😉