UIEtips: What Good Teaching and Meetings Share

Jared Spool

October 10th, 2012

In today‚Äôs UIEtips, guest writer Kevin M. Hoffman shares four simple, easy-to-remember guidelines about how to convey information.Here’s an excerpt from the article.

A college lecture and a business meeting are similar in that they are both mechanisms for conveying structured information. It’s also common that in both situations, not everyone in the room is equally prepared (or, unfortunately, sometimes even inclined) to receive that information. But when running either, your job is to help them retain as much as possible so that the group can reach it’s intended goal, be it learning how to make a website or making a critical business decision that affects your product. People in classrooms and in meetings are always coming to the table with either too little, too much, or just the right amount of prior knowledge. By dividing up key concepts in groups of seven items, give or take a few, you create a manageable cognitive load for everyone’s short term memory, regardless of that variation in prior knowledge.

We’ve all been in that meeting where the presenter boldly states, “I will demonstrate my position is valid with the following fifteen points.” It’s impossible to remember that much at once, much less apply that knowledge. Just try going to the grocery store without a grocery list and see what you forget. Shoot for around seven concepts at a time when you are making a presentation in a meeting, and you’ll reduce those awkward moments where attendees need to be reminded of previous points, or tune out as a result of being overloaded.

Read the article, What Good Teaching and Meetings Share.

Stop the madness of boring and unproductive meetings. In Kevin Hoffman’s daylong workshop at UI17 on November 7, Kevin will show you how empathy, trust, and positive collaboration contribute to effective design meetings. Learn more about Kevin’s workshop, Leading Epically Productive Meetings.

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