Monday, February 21, 2005

Powerpointless

There's no experience in corporate life quite like sitting through mind-numbing misuse of PowerPoint. Throw up a page full of bullets, talk through those bullets -- or worse, reading them verbatim, and then repeating the process.

Now there's a study that we shows what we all have experienced. Cliff Atkinson sums it up:
Adding text to a screen in a multimedia presentation that is identical to the narration harms the ability of the audience to understand the information. Removing the text increases retention, or the ability to remember the information, by 28%. Even more significantly, removing the text increases transfer, or the ability to apply the information, by 79%.

Sylvie Noël is surprised by the result, since she thought that getting the same information from multiple media increased retention. My thought is that it bores the audience so much that they end up paying less attention to either channel. At least that's how it works for me.

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