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Running Head: Have a Dream

Have a Dream
Mark Flancbaum
September 14, 2014

Have a Dream

Mark Flancbaum
14, 2014

September

Overview
I designed a video presentation to encourage my audience to have a dream and make it
happen. I divided my presentation into two distinct sections. In section one, I used Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. To set the backdrop of the civil rights
era, I included images from the time period. I included images of Dr. King and the
injustice he was fighting against. To emphasize my central message of have a dream;
make it happen, I repetitively flashed the words, "I Have a DREAM" on the screen while
Dr. King said the same words.
To transition from section one to section two, I used silence. During the silence, I
changed the perspective from Dr. King's dream, and asked about my audience's dream. I
asked my audience to consider injustice in the United States and in the world. Through
text, I asked my audience questions to reflect upon.
In section two, I used Pierre Vangelis' song "Heal the World", the instrumental version of
Michael Jackson's song by the same title. I used "Heal the World" to set a hopeful tone. I
changed the images from black and white to color. I transitioned from black and white to
color to signify a switch from the past to the present. I used images to show inequalities
in the world today. I included images to highlight the inequities of homelessness, hunger,
unclean water, and access to health care.
I initially designed my presentation for fifth grade students participating in a unit on
human rights. My students studied groups, both past and present, which have had their
rights violated. Due to the age of my audience, I had to be mindful of the images and text
used in the video. Certain images were inappropriate for a fifth grade audience. I had to
consider the reading level of my text to ensure my fifth graders would understand the
message. Along with my fifth graders, I targeted the presentation toward philanthropic
organizations, religious organizations, and the people in the world who have financial
resources to help decrease inequities in the world.

Have a Dream

Mark Flancbaum
14, 2014

September

I designed my video using iMovie. I modified the image of Dr. King speaking in
PowerPoint by adding text. To create the flashing images in my presentation, I used
Adobe After Effects. All of the images used in my presentation, I found in free image
repositories online. My video is stored on YouTube and can be viewed through my ILT
portfolio: https://sites.google.com/site/flancbaumportfolio/projects/havea-dream.

Design Decisions
I designed my project with five main goals in mind: intentionality, simplicity, a central
message, visuals, and avoiding multitasking. Most of my goals had a similar theme of
omitting the unnecessary. Having goals allowed me to set boundaries which allowed me
to provide my audience a focused experience.

Design Decision #1 - Intentional Decisions


I made intentional decisions when I designed my presentation. I did not include anything
in my design without careful thought. Reynolds (2014) stated, "Design is about choices
and intentions; it is not accidental. Design is about process" (p. 16). At 3:02 in my video
I intentionally shifted from black and white images to color images. My purpose was to
signal a shift in perspective and in time period. I shifted the perspective from Dr. King's
dream to asking about the audience's dream. I changed the time period from past to
present.
Reynolds (2014) contended, "To the user, it may seem like 'it just works,' assuming they
think about it at all. This ease-of-use or ease-of-understanding is not by accident. It's a
result of your careful choices and decisions, including your deliberate choices about what
to include and what to exclude" (p.16). In my video, from 1:06 - 1:24, I originally had
pictures about women's voting rights. I decided the pictures did not go well with Dr.
King's dream and made the choice to exclude them. Being intentional allowed me to
keep my presentation focused.

Have a Dream

Mark Flancbaum
14, 2014

September

Design Decision #2 - Simplicity


I designed my presentation with simplicity as a major goal. I used the concept of
simplicity in my text, images, and message. I used simple text and avoided using any
unnecessary text. To get across my message I only used one image at a time rather than
flooding the screen with several. I focused on one central message and did not try to
teach several messages in one presentation. Heath and Heath (2007) stated, "If you say
three things, you don't say anything" (p. 33). Initially, I planned on including other
historic rights violations in my presentation besides civil rights violations. In the interest
of simplicity, I decided to only focus on one historic rights violation.
Reynolds (2014) described simplicity as, "making the conscious decision to cut
unnecessary information and design elements" (p. 17). At the beginning of my
presentation, from 0:04 to 0:10, I originally repeated the two slides I used in the middle
of my presentation from 2:29 to 2:36. I decided the slides were unnecessary at the
beginning of my presentation and excluded them. From 3:02 to 3:59 I had words to
describe each of the inequities I was portraying in pictures: homelessness, hunger, clean
drinking water, and health care. I decided to omit the words because the pictures tell the
story I was trying to tell on their own.
The last place I used the concept of simplicity was when I used flashing text. I used basic
black and white color for the text because I did not want to distract my audience from the
central message. I did not change the words in the text so my message was as simple as
possible. The only time I used different words in the text was to communicate my central
message at 4:04 in the presentation. Simplicity guided me in my design process.

Design Decision #3 - Central Message


I used a central message to unify my presentation. My central message was, have a
dream; make it happen. I kept my message in mind for each design decision I made.
Heath and Heath (2007) claimed, "The Golden Rule is the ultimate model of simplicity: a
one-sentence statement so profound that an individual could spend a lifetime learning to
follow it" (p. 16). Have a dream; make it happen fits Heath and Heath's description. In

Have a Dream

Mark Flancbaum
14, 2014

September

the video, from 0:03 to 2:21 I used the "I Have a Dream" speech, images, and text to
convey Dr. King's dream. From 2:29 to 3:01 I challenged the audience to consider their
own dreams. Finally, from 3:01 to 4:14 I showed images to give the audience ideas of
how to put their dreams into action today. I used my central message to stay focused and
make design decisions.

Design Decision #4 - More Visuals Than Text


In my presentation, I used far more visuals than text. I only used text for specific
purposes. Medina (2008) stated, "Text and oral presentations are not just less efficient
than pictures for retaining certain types of information; they are way less efficient" (p.
234). I used text from 2:29 to 3:02 to challenge the audience to consider their own
dreams. I contrasted the text with the audio track from the first part of my presentation.
The only other text I used was to flash quick phrases on the screen to emphasize my
central message. I repeated the phrase 'I Have a Dream' each time Dr. King said the same
words. I flashed my central message onto the screen from 4:04 to 4:13. The rest of the
presentation was presented through visual images. I used the visual images to support Dr.
King's audio speech, Pierre Vangelis' song, and to help highlight my central message.

Design Decision #5 - Avoid Multitasking


During the creation of my presentation I made deliberate decisions so my audience did
not have to multitask. I did not have text to read on the screen while the audience was
listening to the audio track. The only exception is when I flashed Dr. King's words 'I
Have a DREAM' on the screen as he said the same words. When I wanted my audience
to read and think about the text, I lowered the audio track to silent. Medina (2008)
concluded the human brain is incapable of multitasking (pp. 84-88). In my presentation,
from 2:29 to 2:51, I intentionally lowered the audio track to silent allowing the audience
to read the text and consider the questions I was asking. I made design decisions so my
audience did not have to make a choice about where to keep their focus.
Along with keeping text and audio separated, I avoided multitasking in my song
selection. I chose Pierre Vangelis's instrumental version of "Heal the World" over
Michael Jackson's version because of the lack of words. I wanted my audience to focus

Have a Dream

Mark Flancbaum
14, 2014

September

on the images presented to them rather than the lyrics of the song. I recognize many
people know the lyrics to "Heal the World." Audience members who already know the
lyrics will benefit from their prior knowledge. One way to pack a lot of meaning into a
small amount of messaging is to tap into the existing memory terrain of your audience
(Heath & Heath, 2007, p. 52). Despite Heath and Heath's assertion, I chose to omit the
lyrics so my audience would focus on the images on the screen.

Lessons Learned
Being intentional was the most important lesson I learned through designing my
presentation. I have never thought about each element of my presentation with such
detail. Having to write a design document forced me to think about every design decision
I made. Thinking about each decision prepared me to answer any questions about why I
included or omitted certain elements. I find myself better prepared to justify and defend
my design decisions if questioned.
The second valuable lesson I learned was to write simply. I read a lot about simplicity in
design prior to creating my project. Along with designing simply, writing simply made
sense. Through the writing of the design document, I learned to communicate more
concisely and clearly.
In my presentation I communicated my central message: Have a dream; make it happen.
I made specific design decisions to clearly communicate my message.

Have a Dream

Mark Flancbaum
14, 2014

September

References
Heath, C., & Heath, D. (2008). Made to stick: Why some ideas die and others survive.
New York: Random House.
Medina, J. (2008). Brain rules: 12 principles for surviving and thriving at work, home,
and school. Seattle, WA: Pear Press.
Reynolds, G. (2014). Presentation zen design: A simple visual approach to presenting
in today's world (2nd ed.). Berkeley, CA: New Riders.