University of Washington biologist John Medina has done extensive research into persuasion and how the brain processes information. His advice is to burn most PowerPoint decks and start over with fewer words and more pictures. According to his book, Brain Rules, “We are incredible at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10 percent of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65 percent.”
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. “Think of your slides as billboards,” says Duarte. “When people drive, they only briefly take their eyes off their main focus, which is the road, to process a billboard of information. Similarly, your audience should focus intently on what you’re saying, looking only briefly at your slides when you display them.”
When is the last time you saw a billboard with a bullet-point list? Bullet points are the easiest design to create on a PowerPoint slide and the least effective.
In his book TED Talks, Chris Anderson writes, “Those classic PowerPoint slide decks with a headline followed by multiple bullet points of long phrases are the surest single way to lose an audience’s attention altogether…. When we see speakers come to TED with slide decks like this, we pour them a drink, go and sit with them at a computer monitor, and gently ask their permission to delete, delete, delete.”
Read the full story at Google’s CEO Doesn’t Use Bullet Points and Neither Should You