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Published by Darren Kuropatwa

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Published by: Darren Kuropatwa on Jul 12, 2012
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WORKING PAPER SERIESJune 1986MISRC-WP-86-11Persuasion and the Role of VisualPresentation Support: The UM/3M Study
(D. R. Vogel, G. W. Dickson, and J. A. Lehman)
Prepared by
Douglas R. VogelAssistant Professor of MISUniversity of ArizonaGary W. DicksonProfessor of MISUniversity of MinnesotaJohn A. LehmanAssistant Professor of MISUniversity of MinnesotaManagement Information Systems Research CenterSchool of ManagementUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolis, Minnesota 55455
This paper summarizes the findings of a study designed to systematically explore how computergenerated visual support affects the persuasiveness of a presentation. Perceptions of thepresenter as well as audience attention, comprehension, yielding, and retention culminating inaction 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 thesupport used. Characteristics examined were color vs. black and white, plain text vs. text pluspictures and graphs, and 35mm slides vs. overhead transparencies. A model of the persuasionprocess 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.
1.0 Introduction
Presentations using visual aids were found to be
than unaided presentations.Researchers from the Management Information Systems Research Center at theUniversity of Minnesota and at 3M Corporation set out to explore how the use of visual supportby a presenter affects the persuasiveness of a presentation. Although there have been manyclaims made regarding how presentations are improved by visual support, there is little empiricalevidence to back up the claims. The study conducted in 1981 at the Wharton School of theUniversity of Pennsylvania is the one empirical study that is often cited, but frequently the claimsexceed the study’s explanatory capabilities. To go beyond the Wharton Study, the combinedUM/3M team sought to lay the basis for a program of research which will fully explore the useof visual aids in support of a presentation which has audience persuasion as its purpose.To accomplish this goal we designed a
baseline study
which can support subsequentwork to further probe the subject of audience persuasion. It was our intention that the baselinestudy be
theory based
conducted in a rigorous manner
in order that our results can bereplicated and defensible to both the research and practitioner communities. The baseline study,which is reported upon here, involved an attempt to persuade people to commit their time andmoney to attending seminars on time management. Presentations supported by avariety of visual support (use of color vs. black and white; use of plain textual visuals vs. those enhancedwith “clip art” and graphs; and visuals on overhead transparencies vs. on 35mm slides) werecompared to a presentation with no visual support. Overall, the presentations using visualsupport were 43% more persuasive.

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