With the plethora of information that people are bombarded with on a daily basis, the only way to get cut through is from leaving a memorable impression on an audience.
It is becoming increasingly more and more difficult to leave a lasting impression on people, especially with the access one has to information these days. With more research being developed and released, the field of psychology has unravelled a number of key factors behind memory formation, and with the right set of tools anyone will be able to create a long lasting impression to their audience and further improve their presentation skills.
Below are five factors to keep in mind to avoid being forgotten.
Activate the senses
The three senses you can appeal to during presentations are: sight, sound and space, and the great thing about each of the three is that you can target them all through your presentation’s design. Within the way you have structured your design and presentation, you can use evocative themes that match your subject of communication. The trick here is to remember that these items are meant to emphasise the content of your presentation, but they are not the point of the presentation itself. It’s easy to get distracted by multi-media and the likes of embedded videos, however try to keep them to a minimum. You are trying to capture your audience’s attention with your idea, not someone else’s video.
Stay in range
At one time, people can only keep five to nine items in their short-time memory. If you have a difficult topic to discuss and want to ensure your audience stays connected, it is important to stay within this range. To put it simply, if you’re presenting an unfamiliar argument or idea to an audience, you cannot expect them to consider more than seven points at once. It is easy to overlook this, but it is important to keep in mind, even in the most simple of tasks.
Know when and how to repeat yourself
As interesting as you might be, no one wants to hear the same information over and over again. Redundant presentations are boring and one of the quickest ways to lose your audience for good. However, rehearsing information can boost retention and be the key to converting short-term memory into long-term. The right way to repeat an idea is to let your audience know that they will hear it more than once or, even better, ask them to join you in repeating it. Providing your audience with key ideas and then queuing them to repeat them helps maintain focus and build memories.
All in order
There are two opposing effects that can determine memory: the primacy effect and the recency effect. On the one hand, the primacy effect states that information presented first is remembered well. On the other hand, the recency effect would suggest that information presented last, or most recently, is most likely to be stored away in long-term memory. You can decide for yourself which one you think is more important, however, you should never decide to bury key ideas in the middle of presentations.