Three brain rules to improve your presentations.

Garr Reynolds, of the ever-insightful Presentation Zen, has put together a great slideshow on John Medina’s Brain Links: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School.

Every presentation by Garr Reynolds is a great example on how to communicate. See how he takes three of Medina’s rules to introduce three valuable lessons from neurobiology toward making you a better teacher and lecturer:

1) Exercise-Making your body a lean, clean, aerobic machine, besides giving you time to think, ensures that your brain gets the oxygen it needs. It also gives you some empathy for the poor schlubs that must sit through your lecture, inert brains encased in a desk. Make their time worth it.

2) The 10 minute rule–Your audience fades after 10 minutes. If you have to lecture for 50 minutes, conscientiously change-up every 10 minutes or so. Turn on the lights, show a blank screen and tell a story, have your audience stand up and stretch, anything to reset the 10-minute boredom clock.

3) Pictures beat text–We remember a good image far longer than a string of text. During your talks, show images, speak words. If you need blocks of text for your talk, use handouts.

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3 Responses to Three brain rules to improve your presentations.

  1. [...] gives us 3 rules to improve our presentations. Two of the rules I knew: you have to practice and you should present pictures, not text, on your [...]

  2. Doctor Spurt says:

    Isn’t there research on this? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to refer to some of it? (I seem to remember reading that slides with talking was associated with lower recall than talking alone.) Also, I’m always at least slightly suspicious when a psychological generalization specifies a quantity (e.g. 10 minutes) that is all about our odd history of counting systems.

  3. [...] Three brain rules to improve your presentations [Getting Things Done in Academia] [...]

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