Presentations fail because science (2)

Presentations as they are routinely delivered fail because they break well established scientific principles.

There are numerous studies that have compared student responses to a lecture given with identical audio tracks (p1) but comparing the standard “powerpoint” slides full of text with illustrative, supportive media (p2). The students were assessed using multiple choice questions at 4 weeks and then by essay type questions at 6 weeks. Each shows statistically significant results in favour of the illustrative approach over the annotative. A further study shows even more damning evidence for the bulletpoint approach in that a lecture given with no slides was better than a lecture given with bulletpoints.

The response of many to such statements is a defence of the standard approach. Partly this is because we are recognising that the majority of our education was delivered this way and we deliver the same. Many point out that they take notes and that this helps them to concentrate. I would refer them back to the previous post.

The evidence is clear, presentations fail because science.


  1. Neil

    The references to these papers would be really useful.

  2. ffolliet (Post author)

    There are many but the best evidence is your own personal experience. Consider the last presentation you attended and now list the facts. Our inability is significantly influenced by the nature of delivery.

    Start here

    or here

  3. ffolliet (Post author)

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