To Convey Information: Chunk, Don’t Crowd
July 20, 2015

By Adam Plumer Most people have seen terrible presentations. They have a common phenotype: too much information cluttered on each slide, overlapping images that don’t seem to be connected, and too much monotony. All of these things together make terrible presentations, but even separately they can do damage to your…

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What’s the Best Way to Grab Attention?
July 14, 2015

By Adam Plumer In the above episode of NBC’s Community, one of the characters tries to help another with her presentation skills. This escalates to some interesting tips, like using attention-grabbing words to refocus an audience. This strategy seems common-sense; people will be attracted to the unexpected words and pay…

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Mind Wandering and Selective Attention
July 10, 2015

by Adam Plumer It’s a challenge to maintain attention on something for too long. Inevitably our minds wander and we think about other things. “What should I have for lunch?” “How many meetings do I have coming up?” “I wonder what I should do for my son’s birthday…” These are…

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Do you want attention? Don’t Crowd the Screen.
July 1, 2015

by Adam Plumer It’s easy to be overwhelmed by information. We see it everyday in supermarkets, advertisements, and presentations. In the supermarkets, everything seems like a blur with the seemingly endless choices and similar-looking labels. Visual crowding is a well-documented phenomenon where too much activity in close proximity or peripheral…

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How Color Impacts Attention
June 23, 2015

by Adam Plumer If you ever have to remember a phone number or social security number, chances are you’ve condensed these numbers in order to think of them easily. “4152551303” turns into “415” “255” “1303”. We do this naturally in order to efficiently store information that we may need, but…

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