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Cinematic Insight: Cutting to Continuity in Presentations

Continuity cutting is one of the most commonly used methods in filmmaking and editing. It’s associated with maintaining the flow of a scene or action sequence to preserve the illusion of reality on screen.

Missing a small part of this technique can create lapses on a sequence of shots and angles, as well as frame size. In fact, even blockbuster movies fall victim to continuity errors, including Mel Gibson’s Braveheart.

Simon Gallagher, Executive Director at What Culture, reviewed the said historical drama epic film and revealed movie goofs that might have been overlooked during the editing phase. One example is when a crew member was seen wearing a baseball cap at the back of the Scottish warriors.

What’s the issue here? Sporty caps weren’t common yet in the 13th century, so this one badly compromised the period setting.

This explains the importance of cutting to continuity. Failure to establish coherence between shots distorts the illusion of realism, causing audiences to express disbelief.

How Does it Relate to Presentations?

Director shooting a film or movieThe purpose of continuity editing is to create smooth transitions between shots. Though this method is predominantly used in the film industry, it can also be applied in the context of presentations.

If movie scenes are expected to run seamlessly, necessary cuts are likewise important in presentations to achieve a better delivery. The consistency of actors’ costumes, make-up, setting, and props in movies have equal importance with the messages and ideas conveyed in a presentation.

Let’s delve deeper into continuity’s two transitional devices and how they’re associated to making professional speeches and presentations:

1. CutawayCutting to Continuity in Presentations: cut away

In film editing, a cutaway shot is an interruption of continuously filmed action by inserting a view of a secondary scene. For instance, a shot is focused in the dance performers on stage. Cutaways might consist of crowds, and cheering fans who are watching intently, applauding, and shouting for joy.

These shots may not be a primary part of the main scene, but it helps aid the storytelling process.

Cutaways can be equivalent to buffers inserted between topics in a presentation. Plugging in secondary information that’s not directly involved in your message helps build the story.

In your presentation, giving out product information is a vital step in selling to prospects and customers. But this one can’t always guarantee you a new deal. That’s why, like a cutaway scene, it helps to skip shortly on the product details, and briefly talk about something else.

For example, you can bring your audience’s attention to the challenge or situation they’re experiencing. Share scenarios that touch your customer’s concerns to make your message more relatable. This should be a problem that has not been addressed for them—or addressed well—yet.

2. Cut-inCutting to Continuity in Presentations: Cut-in

Another method used in cutting to continuity is cut-in. Unlike cutaways, cut-ins are close up shots of something visible in the main scene. They specifically show a part of the subject in detail.

Let’s say the main shot is centered around the dancers performing on the stage. The cut-ins could be a close-up shot of a dance crew member. It could be his face, feet and anything that highlights the actual performance.

What sets it apart from cutaway is that it focuses more on the parts of the main scene to create emphasis.

This cinematic style also works in presentations, especially if you want to emphasize important points in your pitch. If the former suggests inserting points that are relevant to the main idea, this one prioritizes going in-depth with the subject matter.

If you’re introducing your company’s newly launched product in a trade show, it’s ideal to demonstrate how it works. Go over all the product’s features and provide a little background information to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Perfect Take!Supporting Images - 4-01

Cutting to continuity may have been a unique method associated with filmmaking and video editing. But when put into context, this technique can also be applied in public speaking stints.

A controlled delivery of information is important in any kind of presentation, and that’s where continuity comes into play.

You can either choose between cutaway and cut-in, or you can also apply both at the same time.

Use cut-away when you want to condense an extended flow of action. This creates a buffer by sharing information that’s not directly involved with the subject but somehow relevant to it.

Try applying cut-ins to highlight the primary purpose of your speech. Delve into the necessary points, no matter how small or big the idea is.

Explore these film techniques and be amazed on how it helps you deliver your message!

References

“Continuity Cutting.” Integrated Publishing. n.d. Accessed January 26, 2016. http://photographytraining.tpub.com/14130/css/14130_328.htm

Gallagher, Simon. “10 Movie Mistakes You Won’t Believe Made It To Screen.” What Culture. November 5, 2012. Accessed January 26, 2016. http://whatculture.com/film/10-movie-mistakes-you-wont-believe-made-it-to-screen.php

Ossohou, Eric. “The Art of Cutaway.” VideoMaker. February 1, 2008. Accessed January 26, 2016. www.videomaker.com/article/13850-the-art-of-the-cutaway

Make Your Team Presentation a Combined Effort

Behind every movie are hundreds of people working behind the scenes to get the project going from start to finish. You can say the same thing when it comes to presentations and pitches. Sure, you can create visually appealing PowerPoint slides (or let a presentation design agency do it) and deliver an effective speech, but do you have the technical know-how to arrange the lighting and sound of your stage? That’s when the cavalry comes in. But with all that back support, you’d still be alone in that platform.

When you have more than just yourself up in front and speaking to an audience, the whole dynamic changes. It’s not just about you anymore; it’s about the team. There are a lot more considerations to think of and added tasks for the leader—you.

Research suggests that a team does better than individuals at intelligence analysis. This isn’t just a specific niche, too. It is common thinking that two heads are better than one.

While there are some who think otherwise and say that a great individual can outdo a good team, these are specific instances. Generally, though, there are reasons why being a team player is a sought-after trait: it fosters more than just a challenging atmosphere and encourages growth of more than one member in a shorter span of time, among others.

Those same reasons apply to team presentations as well. You already have the pros, like teamwork; here are a few guidelines (in quotes!) to remember before sortieing your squad for the battle they’re assigned to win.

Even though you can pitch a presentation alone, don’t discount the power of a team behind you. Your individual members also feel the support of the whole team. This cyclic encouragement reminds you all that, sure, you can do it alone, but you can do it better when with other people. Humans are social beings. It makes sense for one to do—and be—better when in a social setting.

If it brings out the best in you, do it. You’ve got nothing to lose. Who doesn’t want to be at their best? Just be careful not to get overconfident.

Presentation Tips for Introverts: Conserving Energy

Introversion isn’t the same as being shy.

With enough preparation and focus, introverts are just as capable of being on stage as their more outgoing counterparts.

Though being in the spotlight isn’t something they enjoy, it’s something they can excel at given the right time.

It can also be draining to talk to a lot of people, so pace is important to keep things running smoothly.

Your confidence will naturally grow as you master your topic.

In addition, these presentation tips for introverts can help you further in your preparation.

Conserve Energy

While extroverts draw energy from social interactions, introverts draw their energy from within.

Pacing is crucial to avoid wasting energy while presenting.

If possible, craft a short speech to avoid running out of strength.

A shorter presentation also means that you’ll have more energy to expend engaging with your audience.

Prepare your deck thoroughly so you don’t fumble through your speech and lose your precious energy reserves.

Potential Power

Introverts are good listeners, but they can be good speakers as well.

Here are more reasons why introverts can be excellent public speakers too.

Overstimulation of their senses may cause them to withdraw in social situations.

Thankfully, speeches aren’t completely spontaneous and are conducted in an organized space.

Introverts can devote their time and energy to ensure an outstanding presentation, rather than rely on their personality to wow audiences.

Allocate Time

Use your strengths to conquer your weaknesses and you‘ll be a better presenter with practice.

Devote some time to figure out how you can improve the way you speak and how you structure your topic.

The focus should be on the message you’re trying to convey and not on you.

This kind of mindset takes pressure off of you, which allows you to focus on your content and delivery.

Pretending to be confident will work to your disadvantage because you’ll have to spend more energy trying to sustain this behavior.

Your energy is better spent elsewhere, and the time you spend working on your strengths will give you more room for growth.

Energy = Power x Time

Proper pacing should make delivering a speech look a lot less frightening.

Even if they feel up for to the task, introverts have the right skills to be in front of a crowd.

But they have a limited amount of energy to spend and need to manage it carefully.

Impress your audience through a message with a strong impact to alleviate the pressure to over-deliver.

Some presentation tips suggest faking confidence, but it’s much better to spend time building up your strengths.

With this, you’ll be true to yourself and the message you’re trying to get across through your deck.

Remember: introversion should never be an excuse for a subpar performance.

 

References

Cain, Susan. “Public Speaking for Introverts: 6 Essential Tips.” Duarte. February 1, 2013. Accessed October 23, 2015. www.duarte.com/blog/public-speaking-for-introverts-6-essential-tips
Cherry, Kendra. “What Is Introversion?” About.com. Accessed October 23, 2015. http://psychology.about.com/od/trait-theories-personality/f/introversion.htm

Featured Image: “Shy statue.” by fredrik Andreasson on flickr.com