top of page

Multi-Tasking: Your Audience. . .


Multi-Tasking: Your Audience. . .


* The Research shows: Multi-Tasking is a myth. We cannot do more than one thing at a time.

MIT neuroscientist, Earl Miller notes that our brains are “not wired to multitask well… when people think they’re multitasking, they’re actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly. And every time they do, there’s a cognitive cost.”

Examples: If you ever watch any of the cable news channels you’ll notice there is often a “ticker tape” running along the bottom of the screen. If you’re reading that text as it scrolls along, you miss the audio, and often the video, of the interview or news story you were watching – correct?

I’ve proven this to myself. When listening to an audio book on my iPad I’ve sometimes checked email or done a bit of surfing. Each time I’ve engaged in those activities and go back to my book, I need to rewind to the point I started other activities. You’ve had similar experiences, also – correct?

Knowing audiences cannot focus on more than one thing at a time is important information for presenters.

Slides: If you use text and bullet points in your slides, the audience is reading what you are speaking. They’re probably a line or two ahead of you because we read quicker than we speak. This means if they are trying to listen to you at the same time their focus is on the screen reading text, they probably won’t GET IT!

Bullet Points do not reinforce a message. •  They conflict with the presenter. •  Confuse the audience. •  Complicate the message. Use them, and other text, as sparingly as possible.

Here’s a better way to use slides: Use high quality, universally understood Images rather than text. You provide the “text” with your voice. Because the majority of people are visual learners, Great Images will help your audience GET IT!

Be certain the images are easily recognizable. If your audience is confused about what they are looking at, you risk losing them. Clean and simple rules!

Eliminate clutter from your slides. Corporate logos, templates, and contact information is a distraction to those viewing your slides.

Every slide could have all that “stuff” but no one will contact you if the information you’re delivering doesn’t have value. If few slides contain those words, and your information is important to your audience, they will seek you out!

Think Zen-like for those slide backgrounds. A solid white or black background will have eyes looking only at images, where they should be till you. . .

Periodically make the screen go dark. Because non-verbal communication trumps verbal communication, your audience will miss much of your message if they’re always looking at the screen. Inserting a black slide, hitting the “B” button on your keyboard, or using a remote control with the “Blank” function will take the eyes of your audience off the screen onto you.

Follow this advice for making audiences focus on you and your message, without having to multi-task, and your presentations will be absolutely, positively – NO SWEAT!


About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, a coach, and the author of the book, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and “NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, and Presentation Skills.

They do this because they know: Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

They also know: We perceive really great speakers to be Experts, and we like to work with Experts.

He shows them how to: Develop, Practice, and Deliver ‘Knock Your Socks Off Presentations!’ with – NO SWEAT!


  1. Keynote Speaker

  2. Workshop Facilitator

  3. Breakout Sessions

  4. Personal and Group Public Speaking and Presentation Coaching


  1. Lessening The Fear of Public Speaking with – NO SWEAT!

  2. Crafting Your Elevator Speech, Floor by Floor with – NO SWEAT!

  3. Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

  4. We are All Self-Employed!

314-517-8772 Connect/Follow me: FaceBook LinkedIn Twitter YouTube


bottom of page