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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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@InnoNet_Eval lol slopegraphs! Not slop graphs! That would be messy, no?

Bucking the current trend with a nice dose of reality. https://t.co/21HetQoXSv

RT @CommunityIC: Not too early to reserve a seat at 11/8 @EvergreenData's Presenting Data Effectively in #Austin, part of #CICSummit. http:…

RT @lauraahaha: OK, so - what's your point?? The most important question in data visualization - http://t.co/QjK5OB8YE5 Great post by @ever

Super amazing leading today's @LearnAtLovejoy workshop in an actual high school classroom. http://t.co/1WWhfwmvR0

RT @BentleyGTCSpeed: Find what you love to do, you're great at, & others deeply need: There's the perfect career.

@DataVizRR @rightrelevance my post is still up on your site when I explicitly asked you to remove it. You don't have permission. Remove it.

@jgoldn01 @aftercareAU no plans in the works just yet. Organize something?

@SheilaBRobinson @KimFLeonard @RakeshMohanEval @MQuinnP We have a session with several others. #failfest I'll be a bleary blast.

@KimFLeonard @RakeshMohanEval @SheilaBRobinson Me & @MQuinnP are at 7am on Saturday!!!