If the alternative approach is better why doesnt everyone use it

Alley and Neeley (2005b) believe the answer lies in both practical reasons and emotional resistance. Practical hurdles include the challenges of writinga succinct sentence headline, finding or developing visual aids, and overcoming PowerPoint default settings. To overcome these hurdles, they suggest understanding one's subject more fully, employing digital and computer graphics programs, and using alternative slide design templates downloaded from the Web.

It may be harder to answer the challenge posed by resistance to trying something that is out of the norm. In workshops given to faculty, graduate students, and professionals, only about half of the participants were willing even to try using the alternative design (Alley and Neeley, 2005b). The sentence headlines on the slides - the aspect that differs most between alternative and traditional design - were more apt to be a sticking point for participants than the visual evidence. Three months later, 45% of the survey respondents were still using

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Fig. 4.2. The subject of Fig. 4.1 presented in two better ways: (a) As a traditional text-heavy presentation slide with illustrative graphics and a background template. (b) As an alternative design slide with full topic sentence headline and supporting graph.

visual aids for most of their slides, and 37% reported using them on all of their slides.

Sometimes presenters stick with the norm because they feel doing something different will risk their acceptance by listeners. However, Alley and Neeley (2005a) found that their audiences were quite amenable to the change. In their survey, 66% of audience members were somewhat or mostly receptive to the alternative design, and only 4% were somewhat or mostly adverse.

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