The video below was my contribution to the Queering the Museum launch event. It represents an abbreviated version of the response I posted to the QtM website. The format bears a passing resemblance to the trademarked talks that originated in Tokyo and have sprung up around the world. In this iteration, each speaker presents 15 slides or images for 15 seconds each, giving them three minutes and 45 seconds to get their story across.
The format necessarily focuses your thinking. There is little room for extraneous embellishment which forces you to drive down the centre of the narrative. I found it a really effective exercise and one that I’m thinking of incorporating into my academic practice. I think it could be a good method for creating an abstract or proposal. There’s much to be said for brevity, especially in the age of Death by PowerPoint.
Knowing ahead of time that I would want to put the voice-over together with the presentation for later use, I recorded myself delivering the talk. I decided to record at the event instead of syncing my prepared remarks with the presentation at home because I wanted to capture the audience’s responses. This proved well worth the extra effort. The collective murmur generated by the image of my 1971 Barbie Country Camper alone was worthwhile. The live recording also enabled me to evaluate my delivery and its effectiveness in the moment. Although I had my notes along with me, I ended up not using them. As a result, there were a couple of ad-libs but nothing that the audience would have detected. The main thrust remained true to what I had written beforehand.
In the end, it was gratifying to hear laughs where I meant them to be and to hear that final whoop from one of the guests. This was my first experience of giving a formalised talk outside of a classroom environment since moving to Australia and I had a great time. I’d definitely jump at the chance to do it again.