Structure and Style are important features in a presentation. But they are not enough to make what every presentation should do. Change the audience.
When we talk about change, we are thinking of the impact that your content should have after you presented it to your audience, be it a physical change, like goose bumps, an emotional change, like empathy or enlightenment. Your presentation should aim to what you want them to know or feel.
In order to achieve that, you should get your audience to remember your presentation. What we have done, with ebooks and templates that you can download here, is give pointers and tips to get you started on the world of presentations. But it’s not an exact formula.
Getting your audience to remember your presentation, has to do with the way you influence their memories. In this case the explicit memory. Art Markman author of the “Smart Thinking” best seller gives us 3 tips on how to tackle your audience memory.
1. Follow the right sequence.
You should tell your audience right away what is in it for them. From the very beginning, they should be aware of the gain they are going to have from the presentation. The very first thing will be more remembered than the middle, or the last thing. Normally, on the end of your presentation, you walk through your whole presentation, that helps, but it is not as strong as telling, from the very first slide what they are in for. In presentations first impressions do count.
2. Draw connections.
We talked about grasping the very first moment the audience engages with your presentation. Well, now that you caught the attention and curiosity of your audience, you need to draw connections. Keep in mind that the content of your presentation are chunks of information. What your memory does is pull out chunks of information that are linked to moments or experiences. The analogy that Mark Art Markaman uses in his book, is of a bowl of peanuts. “If you take peanuts out one at a time, you get three peanuts when you reach into the bowl three times. But, if you pour caramel over peanuts, then when you pull one out, you get a whole cluster. After you draw from the bowl three times, you may have gotten almost all of the peanuts out.” This is a great metaphor to how explicit memory works. Making connections is or should be the pouring of caramel on your content. Your audience should take from your presentation the most important chunks of information. Allowing them to do that, will work for them to remember, the experience, the information and the presentation.
3. Make the audience work.
On the Make them Care post, we talked about the importance of the audience, and the aspects of orientated key points. Andrew Stanton talked about the “Unifying Theory of 2+2: Let the audience do the math and apply imagination”. After drawing the dots for the audience to connect them, your content should also make them work, along with you, to reach the outcome you want them to achieve. Just like learning a new skill, practice is how you enhance that skill. Making the audience part of the content, with interactive questions, letting them vote on scenarios you’ve built during your presentation, are a few ways in which you can make your presentation the talk of the office the next day. Or a flashback of your content, when someone in your audience, puts to practice the information you shared on the presentation.
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