It’s interesting that @spottypoppy mentioned teaching politics and how that influenced your use of visuals. I think when you go to EAP/EFL conferences and see a lot of text it’s
1. because of the nature of the discipline. A lot of research in Applied linguistics focuses on verbal elements (students writing, discourse analysis, pragmatics etc) and so when showing results it’s inevitable that things can a bit wordy. However, as a watcher of a presentation I love it when abstract or concrete ideas are shown visually, it really does work for me too . And, of course,
2. TIME! Too often these things are made in a rush and it’s a case of just getting the info on a slide in any which way how. However, hopefully thinking all this through and learning about some new concepts like contiguity (thanks for the example, @david that’s really helpful), these things will start coming more naturally to me (instead of just falling back on the ppt template).