Behavioral Science

Everything You Know About Presentation Design Is Wrong [VIDEO]

by . November 30th, 2016

Presentation design is all about getting your point across. If your presentation is boring and unengaging, maybe it’s because you’re still working with an outdated understanding of presentation design.

It’s ironic that many great designers are also sometimes pretty bad themselves at creating pitches for designs, given that this is a golden opportunity to use an often misunderstood craft in a controlled context.

Small business speaker and author Matthew Kostanecki has these points to make about hallowed presentation design practices such as bullet points. Namely how they don’t always work in presentations.

Say what you will about the voice-over delivery, but you’ve probably encountered boring presentation design out in the wild before and you know Matthew’s onto something.

Key concepts (ironically in bullet points)

Redundancy effect – The effect where brain is not able to effectively process information when seen and head at the same time.

Picture superiority effect (PSE)  describes a phenomenon where pictures being far easier to remember than words.

People read faster than they hear – According to Human Factors International, “People comfortably can hear words that are spoken at from 150 to 160 words per minute. This is generally the recommended rate for those who are preparing “books on tape,” or for narration in videos (Williams, 1998).” Contrast this the average adult reading speed in the United States for English prose text, which hovers around 250 to 300 words per minute. Classic presentation design can really throw off audiences.

Working memory limits  – Most people are only able to effectively process four chunks of information at a time. Like the redundancy effect, this may be an argument for focused work rather than multitasking.

Check out more of Matthew Kostanecki‘s videos.

Agree or disagree with the article? Comment below! 



Arthur Piccio manages YouTheEntrepreneur and has managed content for major players in the online printing industry. He was previously BizSugar's contributor of the week. His work has appeared multiple times on The New York Times' You're the Boss Small Business Blog. He enjoys guitar maintenance and reading up on history and psychology in his spare time.