By Michael de Val (United Kingdom)
Coaching others to be excellent presenters poses challenges. Cognitive Load Theory can offer some fruitful ideas to help leaders, coaches and mentors understand how to get the message across better.
Have you ever tried to commit information to memory while doing something else? Ever been distracted from your task by irrelevant information or just dived in at the deep end of a problem when breaking it down or building towards the solution might have been easier? If these sounds or looks familiar to you then you have some experience of Cognitive Load.
Our long term memory has a nearly unlimited capacity, but our working memory- that part which coordinates our thoughts with temporarily stored information during activities such as planning and learning – has a limited capacity for retaining task relevant information. The less we overload it the better for addressing the task in hand.