"Cognitive Load Theory" and the Client Presentation: Think Visual

posted by Brendan Hodgson

A message to anyone involved in creating client presentations and pitch decks: Can the bullets and think visual. 

Because new research shows – according to the Sydney Morning Herald – that the combination of written text and spoken word is more hindrance than help in getting people to retain the messages you’re trying to deliver.

Says the article:

If you have ever wondered why your eyes start glazing over as you read those dot points on the screen, as the same words are being spoken, take heart in knowing there is a scientific explanation. It is more difficult to process information if it is coming at you in the written and spoken form at the same time.

Here’s the crux, according to John Weller of the University of NSW’s faculty of education, “It is effective to speak to a diagram, because it presents information in a different form. But it is not effective to speak the same words that are written, because it is putting too much load on the mind and decreases your ability to understand what is being presented.

So no more relying on “bullets” to serve as back-up for poor pitch preparation. Science has finally proven that it can be harmful to the health of your client – or prospective client – relationships.

Hat tip to Provokat

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