Creating brain-friendly presentations

“Cognitive scientists say it’s impossible for us to multitask as well as we think we can. The brain cannot do two things at once and do them equally well. When it comes to presentation design, we can’t read text on the screen and listen to the speaker while retaining all of the information. It can’t be done.”

“If you want to create visually interesting slides, less is more. Slide design guru Nancy Duarte recommends following a three-second rule. If viewers do not understand the gist of your slide in three seconds, it’s too complicated.”

Google’s CEO Doesn’t Use Bullet Points and Neither Should You


PowerPoint Polemics; Speculative Slideware on the Future of Images

Roͬͬ͠͠͡͠͠͠͠͠͠͠͠sͬͬ͠͠͠͠͠͠͠͠͠aͬͬ͠͠͠͠͠͠͠ Menkman:


PowerPoint Polemics; Speculative Slideware on the Future of Images is still on display over at The Photographers’ Gallery, London. 

Let’s giggle about that title for a second.

The exhibition introduces 15 commissioned PowerPoints to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Microsoft’s release of PowerPoint. One is my DCT: SYPHONING, the 1000000th interval. If you cant make the jump over to London, Photographers’ Gallery has actually made the great effort to not just publish descriptions but also embed download links to all PowerPoints, so you ‘only’ need to actually open a PowerPoint to see the show at home. My PowerPoint is probably one of the biggest files. Its huge, more like a video slideshow.”

For static images, you can also visit Rosa’s Flickr set.


Dead fish & whiteboards

Powerpoint is a dead fish

A powerpoint presentation is a container of frozen content. It reflects ideas and relationships that were fresh long time ago, when you created the presentation. Following a dead PPT impedes actual thinking. Ideas must follow old paths, and your mind is constantly readjusting to the old structure.

When trying to create a meaningful message for your audience, ideas must be fresh, establishing connections with new events and knowledge.

An old, fixed structure doesn’t allow thinking to evolve in order to be actual and alive.

Black/white-boards are hidden behind the screen

It is common that whiteboards have been covered by the installation of a screen for the data projector. It is natural, when trying to explain a concept, to draw schemes and diagrams. This drawings reflect your actual line of thought, they are in fact materialized thought. They are so powerful and important that some artists have used them as an artistic medium, and they have been preserved in the case of some important scientists and thinkers.

The physical impediment of the screen blocking the board cuts away the possibility of this drawings and artifacts. We need to draw. We need to give shape to our thoughts live.


Image browsing allows for free, unrestricted navigation

When using an image browser app instead of a presentation, you jump between folders opening up the images you need, following your mind wandering through your content while you talk. Images are previously stored in a well named folder structure. The sequence of images comes determined by your discourse, and not the other way around. The route is not pre-determined, it comes out spontaneously following your reasoning and associations. (Image browsers as ACDsee, Xnview…)

Image searching on the web opens up to the unexpected.

Looking for images on Google Images or a similar service offers relational exploration, a method that parallels associative thinking. Google knows what you are looking for better than you do. It is part of your expanded and connected mind, your external brain extension. Rely on it’s knowledge and let you go with the information flow. Ehen looking for a certain image, you’ll find some related material that can enrich your discourse, establishing fresh connections with meaningful content.
Unexpected porn could be a minor problem, always possibly taken with humor.

Realtime research.

This realtime processes can serve as a model for you audience, learning from your ways of searching and establishing connections between data and different information sources. You expose your mind and your thinking mechanisms, reinforcing the importance of the process over the finished product.