Blog

Your Brain on Slideshows

Your Brain on Slideshows

Here’s what happens to audience brains when presenters speak while showing text-heavy slides. Their working memory gets overloaded.

Working memory is that part of the cognition system where we contemplate information, wrangle with it, try to digest it. But working memory has limits on its cognitive load. It can only handle so much (not much, as it turns out).

Want to see for yourself? Try this little game. While it isn’t the same as sitting in a text-heavy presentation, it recreates a similar environment where our brains are trying to keep track of too many things at once.

My best scores were better than the average – and that’s the danger. Some of us *think* we’re really good at multitasking when we really aren’t doing any of the tasks too well. Here a couple of strategies for reducing the cognitive overload that comes with text-heavy slides.

We’ll talk about this and more practical steps for improving slideshows in my webinar, Nontoxic Slideshows, this Friday at noon EDT.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

@jlaskovsky NICE!

RT @dinocitraro: Tired of reading about tools that "make data visualizations in seconds". Reminds me of weight loss pills. Finding insight …

New Post: How to directly label your #dataviz in #Excel http://t.co/FDVwRi4DXo

@AnnKEmery can I come? I'll be in DC by then!

Its a challenge to find decent ways to visualize revenue & expenditures but not so sure my library got it right. http://t.co/JjKT97gSn6

What's stumping you about your presentation? Ask now & I'll answer soon on the @RadPresenters Podcast.

UC Davis is hiring a part time #dataviz expert to develop curriculum https://t.co/YcT3aPpVVP

Are you listening to @RadPresenters Podcast yet? We interview brilliant people about all your #presentation dilemmas. http://t.co/UEdjSfWEXk

RT @ProgramEvalWA: Want to get your message across during a presentation? Try presenting one idea per slide http://t.co/RcUb6VKlr0 @evergre

@thisiskahiwa let me help you!!