At DIA’s 2019 Global Annual Meeting, SlideSource’s Bob Befus, along with Frank Carillo, CEO of ECG Healthcare, gave a session entitled “Presentations as Listeners Like Them: How to Tailor Messaging.”

The presentation reviewed Richard E. Mayer’s Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning and outlined, with useful examples, three techniques for reducing the audience’s cognitive load. These techniques, when applied to content during a presentation’s creation, can make it easier to process and more likely to stick in the audience’s memory. They are:

  • Designing to help your audience focus on a slide’s content
  • Not overloading the visual and auditory channels
  • Leveraging space and time contiguity (when words and corresponding pictures are near each other, the audience can better hold them in working memory at the same time, and when narration and images are presented at the same time the audience can make better connections between verbal and visual representations)

More details can be found in Mayer’s classic Multimedia Learning (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001. ISBN 978-0-521-78749-9).