Slides and Screens

October 4, 2009


I took this photograph at the conference on REACH that I attended last week. There are a number of things worth noting

The design of the slide is typical of those shown by just about every speaker during the conference. It consists entirely of words and there are far too many of them.

  • It’s impossible to read such wordy slides and pay attention to the speaker at the same time
  • there is too much information to take in at a glance
  • the speakers often moves on to the next slide before you’ve had time to finish reading the slide.

The other main problem is the positioning of the screen directly in front of he large windows.  This meant that

  • there was distracting glare to each side of the screen
  • when the sun was shining directly through the windows it wasn’t possible to read the slides as the sunlight came through the screen, overwhelming the light from the projector
  • activities taking place outdoors (e.g. gardeners clearing up leaves) or even movement of birds, were distracting

Conference organisers really need to think carefully about the visuals and the room layout. This was particularly poor for a conference of occupational hygienists who should know about these things.


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