Recall your most recent company regional event or convention.
Have you squinted at slides with tiny writing or low contrast, spending your brainpower trying to understand them (instead of paying attention to what the speaker is saying)?
I wear glasses and have them checked every year.
But at a convention or training session, I’m not necessarily in a good spot to read the visual projections of what you prepared. I might be at the back of the room or over to the side, craning my neck to see around the head of the person in front of me.
My eyes are tired and my brain is racing from all the excitement of the event. Both of those conditions make the eyeball-to-brain-comprehension connection move more slowly.
When these things happen, I don’t hear what you say and I’m not seeing what’s on the screen. It’s a double loss for me, and I feel disappointed. I was hoping to glean your insights!
Speakers, please don’t let your visual and verbal efforts go to waste. Here are some tips for preparing the “slides” for your next presentation.
And a request? Please put the slide up as soon as possible! Consider that it takes the audience about 3 times as long to read and begin to comprehend it… (and I know by the time you go on stage, you’re sick of seeing those slides… but please let us audience members revel in looking at them).
Tip #1 for the audience: if there is information you want to remember from a slide, take handwritten notes if possible. You will retain the information longer.
Tip #2 for the audience: If the speaker is moving too quickly for handwritten notes: take a photo of the slide. (Turn off the camera flash! 😉 )
–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™
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