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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.

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RT @RakeshMohanEval: "Where does that extra text belong? In Abe’s mouth...rather than the slidedeck." Excellent. @EasternEval #eers15 https…

@John_Gargani Kia ora! Sounds like you rocked your keynote, as usual.

RT @Nan_Wehipeihana: Countering evaluation invisibility David Stuart Taking evaluation data to the street #anzea2015 http://t.co/DTqmxSO6rB

@jlaskovsky can't wait to see it. Cheers!

RT @RakeshMohanEval: Words could generate powerful effects if... How #dataviz started at @Idaho_OPE: http://t.co/d4UaKAb0SC @evergreendata

@jlaskovsky not the chart chooser, please. everything else sounds awesome! and thanks for asking first!

RT @cesnl1: .@evergreendata offers some simple ways to punch up powerpoint problems! #eval #dataviz http://t.co/KU2DboJrz7

Such a pleasure! https://t.co/CO4lmPYXjt

I'm pretty sure the look on my face is "good god, what have you done?" & how fun the camera man could catch that. http://t.co/sqpkhCQefw