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“The "Dirty Dozen": Common PowerPoint Errors and How to Avoid Them” by Prof Stephen Kosslyn (Harvard University)


Friday 24 August 2007

Venue: PLEASE NOTE VENUE CHANGE: Clinton Auditorium
Time: 11:00 am

Background to Lecture
According to Microsoft, at least 30 million PowerPoint presentations are delivered per day. But Microsoft doesn't say how many of those presentations were good. It's commonplace to hear that such electronic slide shows bore, bludgeon, confuse, anesthetize, or insult the audience. Many such presentations are mind-bogglingly bad. This talk focuses on 12 common errors, and shows how simple psychological principles can be used to avoid falling into these traps: The key to avoid perpetrating acts of psychological violence on captive audiences is to understand that your audience is composed of human beings, and we humans have specific kinds of minds. A presentation is for people, not Martians or computers endowed with artificial intelligence. As humans, our minds have certain strengths and certain weaknesses. Clear and compelling presentations play to the cognitive strengths of the audience and avoid falling prey to their weaknesses.

Stephen M. Kosslyn is Chair of the Department of Psychology and John Lindsley Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. A renowned neuroscientist, he is one of the world’s leading authorities on the nature of visual mental imagery and visual communication and has received numerous honors for his work in this field. His previous books include Image and Mind, Wet Mind: The New Cognitive Neuroscience (with Koenig), and Psychology: The Brain, the Person, the World (with Rosenberg). His latest books is entitled Clear and to the Point: 8 Psychological Principles for Compelling PowerPoint Presentations (Oxford University Press, July 2007).

To book a place contact, Sandra Conroy, UCD School of Psychology: or telephone (01) 716 8363

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