We’ve all drooled through a data-heavy presentation where our eyes began to tire and the facts and figures all begin to run together. While these decks are full of great information, the odds are the audience is not only disconnecting from the content, but they’re likely not retaining the information either. Experts have found that compelling visuals can increase information retention by nearly 42%! That’s why creating visually engaging data slides is a powerful tool to increase retention and improve your audience’s engagement.

When it comes to turning your data into visuals, a great place to start is by looking at Gestalt Psychology. Gestalt Psychology is the attempt to understand the laws behind the ability to acquire and maintain meaningful perceptions in an apparently chaotic world. This theory focuses on the way our minds perceive the world around us. When it comes to creating a visual layout that’s easy for your audience to comprehend, this theory can be your best friend.

There are a few areas to consider when implementing Gestalt Psychology into your visual designs.

Proximity is the concept of objects near each other being perceived as a group. When creating your presentation design, it’s vital to leverage proximity to your advantage. Strong proximity allows your audience to follow along with your content easily without your having to place large amounts of content on the screen.

The idea of similarity revolves around like objects being grouped together. Placing similar objects on a slide is an easy way to draw your audience in and focus their attention on information you deem important. It’s crucial to remember when using similarity in design that just because an object is the same category, that does not make it similar to another object – rather, this idea is focused on how the objects look together.

The principle of continuity is based on the idea that once the eye begins to follow a visual, it will continue in that direction until it encounters another object. By embracing continuity in your design, you can take your audience on a journey through your slides and redirect their attention using continuous objects.

Learning to leverage these simple principles ensures that you are not just engaging the eyes of your audience, but you’re connecting with their mind as well. Presenting your data in a visually compelling layout ensures that you experience the largest retention and engagement rate from any audience.

Do you have a presentation coming up? Are you unsure where to start? Contact the team at Ethos3 today to find out how we can help you knock your next presentation out of the park!

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