Audiences' judgements of speakers who use multimedia as a presentation aid: a contribution to training and assessment
Submitted Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 09:50
Abstract: Multimedia technology in principle may help speakers to deliver more effective presentations. The present study examined what effectiveness might mean in terms of audience reaction. Understanding that may help educators to use multimedia more effectively themselves and to help their students to do so. Descriptors were elicited from audiences in response to a total of 56 live presentations in which speakers used multimedia as a presentation aid. Forty-two rating scales were defined. A total of 20 presentations were rated using the scales, with the scales presented in one of two different random orders. The order did not appear to affect the ratings. A factor analysis suggests that three factors may be most important in describing the audiences responses. The first describes audience assessment of how well researched and informative the presentation seemed. The second concerns the design of the multimedia, including how creative and imaginative it was. The third reflects how entertaining and how much fun the audience felt the experience as a whole to be. The results suggest a three-factor model that might be useful when designing multimedia-supported presentations, for providing proactive guidance and feedback when training speakers, and for assessment purposes.