I came across this post in LinkedIn by Dr. Preeti Vats – a psychologist and public speaker in the New York area. In her post, she offers some insights on how our brains work and how they are stimulated by external forces – such as your presentations. Very interesting article. Here is her post in its entirety and unedited.
The brain, as I like to describe it, is an incredibly complex series of neural networks. Specific regions and structures—many of which perform multiple functions—are interconnected to (if you will pardon the expression) a mind-boggling degree. Today, thanks to the amazing advances that have been made in neuroscience, we understand a great deal about how these networks operate, and we are able to capture and analyze the brain’s responses to stimuli at the subconscious level and what effects it most positively.
But here I will touch upon some key learnings derived from the thousands of neuromarketing studies that have been conducted around the world. These findings are ones which every speaker can apply almost immediately.
Faces are Fundamental: the brain simply loves faces. Following many millennias’ worth of neurological development and refinement, we are built to search facial expressions for indications of intent. Are you friend or foe? One of our core recommendations is: find ways to focus on faces in your power points , stories, events etc. Your audience’s brain will (subconsciously) thank you for it.
“The brain dislikes sharp edges and straight lines. To the limited extent they exist in nature itself, they represent a threat to the subconscious mind.”
Curves are Critical: the brain dislikes sharp edges and straight lines. To the limited extent they exist in nature itself, they represent a threat to the subconscious mind. Such features can cut, maim, even kill—and they automatically invoke what is known as an ‘avoidance response’ deep in the brain. We are driven away from them, without even being aware of it. So avoid such things in your visual presentations.
Images on the Left, Words on the Right: The brain is built to prefer this presentation. Apply it to everything from advertising your profile to speaking convention.