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Seeing truth in images

Medical Presentations, choosing images


Read and look at an image and your memory retention will increase from 10% to 65% (Medina, 2008).

Ideas for your presentation can sometimes be difficult to find.

Remember that the best slides are simple ones that effect the heart and are relevant to your words.


Powerful Style Options:

  • Let the image lead the eye to the text.

  • Solid background with an image.

  • Vertical images or horizontal images.

  • Small and in the centre draws attention.

  • Use space and place the image.

  • Use a transparent filter over image.

  • Abstract colour.

Let the image lead the eye to the text​

Contrast with background

Simple colour background with an image

Small and in the centre draws attention

Spacious with an image

Use a transparent filter over image

Colourful background gradients


Mental imagery with good intentions

The present findings suggest that vividness may act as an index of availability of long-term sensory traces (D’Angiulli et al., 2013).

Speaking with truth

Hancock et al. (2008) investigates truthfulness in communication and found correlations in lying. Here is how to speak more truthfully.

  • Shorter discussions and simple explanations are easier to follow.

  • More self-references like first-person singular pronouns (I, me) and more third-person pronouns (he, she, they).

  • Explain with words (because, effect, hence).

  • Avoid directing speech with words (see, touch, listen). It can distracts the audience and disassociates them from understanding all the information.

Negative language is still truthful however demotivating.

Good information

You want good decisions from the information given that is:

  • valid information (case studies, references and statistics)

  • trustworthy

  • timely

  • relevant to what is needed

  • easy to read, hear and understand

  • cost effective

  • accurate and disciplined

  • detailed and focused

  • giving confidence (positive thinking, knowledge, training, and practice).

Use positive word imagery

Negative moods have been shown to impede performance on tests of problem solving, working memory and attention (Cheng & Holyoak, 1985; Spies et al., 1996).

This adverse effect of negative mood on working memory may result because of intrusive thoughts and worries that distract the individual from the task at hand (Eysenck & Calvo, 1992; Seibert & Ellis, 1991).

Strengthen with powerful words

Powerful messages evoking emotions give the audience a clear path of understanding.

Power, positive and focus words are all important.

Rely on verbal messages for abstract concepts

According to dual-coding theory by Allan Paivio (1971:1986), memory and cognition exists either (or both) verbally or "imaginably".

Concrete concepts presented as images are encoded into both systems. However, abstract concepts are recorded only verbally.

Recall, recognition and reproduction of abstract concepts can be improved by communicating with verbal repetition, using literal equivalent and identifying processes,

Connecting known concepts with new abstract concepts is achieved by classifying, categorising, recognising patterns or chaining inferences.



Cheng, P., & Holyoak, K. (1985). Pragmatic reasoning schemas. Cognitive Psychology, 17(4). Retrieved from

D’Angiulli, A., Runge, M.. Faulkner, A., Zakizadeh, J., Chan, A., & Morcos, S. (2013). Vividness of visual imagery and incidental recall of verbal cues, when phenomenological availability reflects long-term memory accessibility. Frontiers in Psychology, (4), 1. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00001

Eysenck, M., & Calvo, M. (1992). Anxiety and performance: The processing efficiency theory. Cognition and Emotion, 6(6), 409-434. doi:10.1080/02699939208409696

Hancock, J., Currya, L., Goorha, S., & Woodworth, M. (2008). On lying and being lied to: A linguistic analysis of deception in computer-mediated communication. Discourse Processes, 45(1), 1-23. doi:10.1080/01638530701739181

Seibert, P., & Ellis, H. (1991). Irrelevant thoughts, emotional mood states, and cognitive task performance. Memory and Cognition, 9(5). Retrieved from

Spies, K., Hesse, F., & Hummitzsch, C. (1996). Mood and capacity in Baddeley’s model of human memory. Zeitschrift fur Psychologie. 204. Retrieved from's_model_of_human_memory

Paivio, A. (1991). Dual coding theory: Retrospect and current status. Canadian Journal of Psychology, 45(3), 255-287. doi:10.1037/h0084295


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