Episode Summary

On this episode of Safety of Work, we discuss whether PowerPoint Slides count as a safety hazard. This topic came up when we thought about what often goes wrong with safety communication.

Episode Notes

We use the paper When Redundant On-Screen Text in Multimedia Technical Instruction can Interfere with Learning to frame our discussion.


  • This problem existed before Microsoft.
  • Do presentation slides help you communicate?
  • Text on slides serving as a distraction.
  • What the cognitive load theory tells us.
  • Changing one’s approach to presentations.


“I think people genuinely think it’s a good way to convey information.”

“The cognitive load theory is suggesting, in this case, that the worst thing to do is to give them text…and audio at the same time.”

“It definitely doesn’t apply that diagrams plus audio is bad.”


Kalyuga, S., Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (2004). When redundant on-screen text in multimedia technical instruction can interfere with learningHuman factors46(3), 567-581.