The Human Element of Academic Presentations

How often have you walked out of a room and barely remembered anything from a lecture or presentation? It feels that often presentations focus on information transfer rather than connection. If much of what is communicated in academic presentations could easily be done asynchronously, academics are regularly missing an opportunity to connect with and engage their audience.

In this presentation to our Summer Doctoral Program, I use Mayer’s (2001) multimedia learning theory to promote more meaningful (and memorable) presentations. I encourage our visiting students to consider the human element of the presenter-audience relationship by thinking about audience need and how to best communicate their message.

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