Presentations

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Your email address will not be published.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>

#HandmadeKalamazoo is about community. You're voting for that... http://t.co/UwE4DKSDa3 #CatalystU2015

@AnnKEmery plug adapters

@KZOODISTILLING the people of kalamazoo demand details.

RT @RadPresenters: We are recording our next episode soon & we'll block out time to answer your Qs. What are you struggling with? Send ques…

Looking for an embeddable survey tool that will let respondents use a slider to position themselves on a spectrum. Know of any?

Check out the expanded #dataviz section of @BetterEval that we've been cooking up! http://t.co/Qf85ZhiNgk #eval

Afternoon friends: The rules about when it's ok to NOT start your axis at zero. http://t.co/jDOKX3lP2o #dataviz

RT @esjewett: @evergreendata Yes! Also when the traditional 0-value is no more meaningful than any other value. Temperature, for instance.

RT @AnnKEmery: [New post] Span Charts: When you've only got the min and max, not a mean/median/frequency http://t.co/WQeKFvp0RF http://t.co…