Persuasion and the Role of Visual Presentation Support


This paper summarizes the findings of a study designed to systematically explore how computer generated visual support affects the persuasiveness of a presentation. Perceptions of the presenter as well as audience attention, comprehension, yielding, and retention culminating in action were enhanced when presentation support was used compared to when it was not. Further, the persuasive impact of a presentation was shown to depend on characteristics of the support used. Characteristics examined were color vs. black and white, plain text vs. text plus pictures and graphs, and 35mm slides vs. overhead transparencies. A model of the persuasion process and guidelines for the effective use of presentation support were developed. Presentation support effectiveness was also shown to vary as a function of presenter quality.


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