Visuals improve presentation effectiveness by 43% – research paper from 1986

It seems the often cited “According to research from 3M Corporation, we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.” is false.

see: and

This paper appears to be the source of the claim that “Presentations using visual aids were found to be 43% more persuasive than unaided presentations.”

Important to note: they compared 35mm slides with overhead transparencies as 2 of 8 variables including the quality of the presenter herself. The nature of the presentations given (video lectures and the same video accompanied by manually operated visual supports) suggests to me that a live presenter using modern presentation tools (PowerPoint, Keynote or Interactive White Boards) might have different results.

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