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September 12, 2012


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Maid Service Red Bank

5 Steps to Conquer 'Death by PowerPoint' Changing the World One Conversation at a Time tackles our obsession with popular slideware programs head on while providing an easy-to-follow framework for presentations that inform and influence.

Kathy Reiffenstein

Hello Adhiti,

Thanks for your comments.

You are absolutely right that visuals help with understanding and memorability. But the key is in the definition of "visuals". An abundance of words/bullet points on a slide is not the type of visual that provides an audience with more clarity or the ability to better remember the presenter's message. When you ask an audience to *read* words on a slide at the same time the presenter is speaking (which is the norm for most presentations), you are actually creating a conflict for the audience. They don't read or listen with their complete attention and as a result, they struggle to take in everything. Written words and spoken words are processed through two different parts of our brain, adding to the conflict.

The visuals that can really create impact for an audience and help them better understand and remember the key points of the presentation are *true* visuals like pictures, illustrations, graphs and charts. These are not a duplicate of what the presenter is saying but rather a supplement to provide additional insight for the audience.

So the advice about minimizing visual aids is to encourage presenters not to confuse and overload their audience with a lot of words on the slides. But it is also to encourage presenters to focus more on their audiences. The very best presentation is a dialogue between presenter and audience, even if the presenter does most of the talking. If the audience's attention is constantly being directed away from the presenter to visual aids (even good ones), that dialogue becomes much less effective.

Hope that has clarified the issue. I applaud you for working to understand how to make more effective presentations..because it's as early as university where some of the bad PowerPoint habits are born!



hello Kathy,
Thanks!As I'm a M.B.A student your post wil be very useful for my presentations. In your post the 3rd point tells to minimize visual aids but as far as i know vision dominates all other senses and "The more visual the input becomes, the more likely it is to be recognized - and recalled."
"If information is presented orally, people remember about 10% That figure goes up to 65% if you add a picture."
Will you pls clarify this.
Awaiting your response.

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