The Takahashi-method

2 min read


By Håvard Hvassing


December 12, 2020

Born from constraints and out of necessity, the Takahasi method is a way of designing text-only presentations. Using one word. Maybe two. Per slide.

The above intro in Takahashi-style presentation

A method for creating presentations when you have no intentions of dealing with graphic design. The Takahashi-method is a bare-bone style, using words alone or short sentences as visuals. There is room only for the bare minimum, and whatever is on display should underline the spoken word and be a point worth making.

Lawrence Lessig is one of the more notable presenters who borrow from this style. The clip below is an example of Lessig in action with his distinct way of presenting.

As you are watching Lessig present, consider which is more important; his slides or the story? In this case, the story and his ability to convey a to-the-point narrative, almost makes the presentation superfluous.

There is no doubt that he is in control when presenting, always knowing what comes next both in the story and on screen. There is no hesitation.

Confidence on this level comes from experience and practice, and knowing your message by heart.

The Takahasi way of presenting can be an interesting challenge, and certainly something that will be perceived as out of the ordinary at a conference or a meetup.

A word of caution; there is a time and a place for everything. The Takahas-method is no exception. If you have an hour on stage and are a fresh presenter, this might not be the best approach. The same goes for video conferences and online meetings, ,where you are running the risk of having spotty internet connections ruin the experience.

If, however, your goal is to leave your audience feeling excited and motivated by your talk, the it might be worth trying this style of presenting.

It takes little effort to make the slide deck, which will save you time. Time which is much needed or rehearsing your story and timing.

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