Design Principles: Temporal contiguity
The third in a series of seven
In this third post in a new series, we take a look a closer look the third design principle, as researched by Prof RE Mayer, J Sweller et al.
This principle says that close synchronicity between what you say (narration) and what you show (supporting graphics) helps audience members remember your message.
Avoid the temptation of cramming large amounts of information onto your slides. Slides containing large amounts of information force audience members to choose between digesting the slide or listening to to you. You risk your audience's working memory becoming overloaded and your message being lost.
Complex slides should be built over time, using the animation or transition capabilities in your graphics package. Experiment with fading out areas you are not discussing, or bringing items onto the slide one by one as your narration develops. These are techniques that help your audience follow your line of argument.
Tight synchronisation between narration and supporting graphics maximises audience engagement and retention.