In my previous blog post, I asked if you know what the characteristics of brain-friendly slides are. I promised to reveal it in the next blog post, and here it is!
An Easy Way to Determine of Your Slides Are Brain-Friendly
Brain-friendly slides deliver a clear message to your audience and support your presentation. They are attractive slides that are easy to understand. An effective way to measure whether a slide is brain-friendly or not is to apply the 3-second rule. If your audience can understand what your slide is about in 3 seconds or less, then you have a brain-friendly slide.
Understanding the Signal to Noise Ratio
We can take this one step further. The higher the signal-to-noise ratio of your slide is, the better it is. A high signal versus noise means that your message (signal) comes across unambiguously, and that irrelevant aspects (noise) are less noticeable. For example, what do you think of the picture with the girl?
What first drew your attention in the image? Was it the girl’s face? Or the cotton candy with the red cross that caught your attention? Maybe you noticed the button in the girl’s ear or the pillar in the background. If the image were shown schematically, you would see the graph below:
The ‘Source’ is your slide, while the ‘Receiver’ your attendee, while the lines from one to the other are signals given in your slide, therefore your message. The two thick lines represent the girl and the candy floss with the red cross. The thinner lines represent the weaker signals, such as the background and finer details of the girl.
Have you ever evaluated your slides this way? I encourage you to do it. For a better understanding of how to assess slides, I wrote a whole chapter on Brain Knowledge for More Effective Presentations in my book, ‘Powerful Presentations,’ to help you create effective, brain-friendly slides.
While doing our research for writing the book, we interviewed a variety of experts. One of which was brain scientist John B. Molidor from the United States. When I was chairman of the Professional Speakers Association in the Netherlands, he was chairman of the National Speakers Association in the USA.
John shared his knowledge with me about the link between the functions of the brain and giving a successful presentation. I also asked whether, from a brain point of view, it is best to show slides during a presentation or not. He revealed that his opinion on that has changed, but to know what exactly his answer was, you will have to read my next blog!
Until next time!
Frowa Schuitemaker from Powerful Presentations is an educationalist by heart. She and her daughter, Charlotte, wrote the book “Powerful Presentations – How to Easily Create and Use Impactful, Brain-Friendly Slide Presentations with the P-IQ Method.” She is the immediate president of the Dutch Speakers’ Association PSA NL. She is co-founder of VSAI, the Virtual Speakers Association International.
More information about their book can be found here: