I’m reading John Medina’s ‘Brain Rules’. He relates current research into the chemistry and structure of the brain to the classroom and the office. I’ve just read his summary of five of Mayer’s rules for presentations, and they are so relevant to how we use PowerPoint in presentations that I repeat them here:
1. Students learn better from words and pictures than from words alone (Multimedia principle).
2. Students learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented simultaneously rather than successively (Temporal contiguity principle).
3. Students learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented near to each other rather than far from each other on the screen (Spatial contiguity principle).
4. Students learn better when extraneous material is excluded (Coherence principle).
5. Students learn better from animation and narration than from animation and on-screen text (Modality principle).
So, think back to your last presentation. How many principles did you violate?