Q. I’ve attended several of your seminars and notice you use only black and white overhead transparencies. You do know that color and PowerPoint® technology exist?

A. Yes, I do, on both accounts. I prefer to use overhead transparencies as I find it easier to alter the order of presentation or insert/delete information in real time. They also save me from having to haul equipment with me (since some venues have incompatible equipment or overhead projectors only).

Years ago a brain researcher told me that when color illustrations (transparencies or PowerPoint®) are used in a seminar situation (unless they involve pictures of nature) you increase the possibility that some of the participants may become distracted. Their brains may recall events, positive or negative, that involved the color that is used in the illustration. Whether this occurs at a conscious or subconscious level, their brains will be distracted. This can decrease their tendency to learn, retain, or practically apply what is being presented—since they will likely miss portions of the information.

I have a great regard for a person’s time. It is one of the most valuable gifts you can give to another person. When individuals choose to attend one of my presentations, I want to make the best use of their time. Therefore I typically:·

  • Use B&W transparencies to avoid color distraction
  • Avoid wearing fragrances that might be distracting kinesthetically
  • Dress in dark monochromatic colors to avoid visual distraction