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Alex Kerr's illuminating presentation on sustainable tourism

One of my favorite talks from TEDKyoto 2013 was the one presented by Japanologist and award-winning author Alex Kerr. If you have any interest at all in Japanese culture, design, and lessons in sustainability then I think you will find this talk fascinating indeed. Alex structured his presentation very simply, first illuminating the problem and then taking us on a journey exploring some solutions to that problem. Visually, I liked what Alex did by keeping text to an absolute minimum and using stunning images that were, for the most part, beautiful full-screen images that filled the 16:9 frame and helped take the audience along on his journey. Alex Kerr's low-key, thoughtful, and visual presentation is a good example of the modern short-form presentation zen style. And the content of his talk provides many valuable lessons in sustainable tourism and beyond.

The power of visual comparison: Before/After & Now/Then, etc.
A common mistake people make with visuals is that they include photos that are too small. One thing I liked about Alex's talk was that his visuals included high-quality photos of his work that filled the entire screen (there were some exceptions). Alex also used a simple technique of showing Before/After photos in a way that made things instantly clear, showing a great transformation. The examples below were not shown side by side, but rather a "Before" photo is shown and then the "After" photo fades in to illustrate the dramatic change.

Kerr1 ArrowKerr2
Kerr_3 ArrowKerr_4
The "after" photos on the right faded in (cross dissolve) which had a dramatic effect in this presentation.

Alex Kerr presenting on stage at TEDxKyoto 2013.


Jim Cronin

Quite moving presentation, he made it look easy!Thanks for sharing.

Sheila Fraser

His visuals are good,, but unfortunately he umms and ahhs through out the presentation, directing from his main message. He should learn to remove these filler words.

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