27 Aug 2013by Georgie Cousens

How to Make Sure your Audience Remembers your Presentation

How to Make Sure your Audience Remembers your Presentation
If you want to turn into a bit of a pro when it comes to presentations you need to do two things –

  1. Have a kick butt presentation.
  2. Make sure your audience remembers your kick butt presentation.

We’ve talked about presentations in terms of your check list, the intro and your audience’s engagement. So let’s have a look at how to get your audience to remember the information you want them to walk away with … or act on.

We all know we have to engage the audience if we want your presentation to be a success, otherwise you’re just wasting everyone’s time – most of all your own.

But how do you get your information across so your audience will remember?

Don’t crowd your slides
I’m pretty sure you know about letting your slides ‘breathe’ and you follow the 6x6x6x6 rule. If you don’t know what I’m talking about read more about it here.
If you jam a ton of information into each slide then your audience has to struggle with competing objectives – listening to you and reading the slide. So make the slide a thought starter, rather than an encyclopaedia.

Know your topic
A no brainer! Your audience knows when you know your stuff, so … know your stuff!

Go easy on your audience by summarising often
If you have a lot of information to get across, it’s easy for your audience to zone out and think about the upcoming weekend rather than being fascinated by what you have to say.  Mind you it’s human nature to zone in and out anyway, so give everyone an opportunity to stick with you through the presentation. You can easily do this by summarising the big points along the way. This means those who have briefly zoned out during your awesome revenue projection slides have an opportunity to get back up to speed and ask questions about any info they may have missed.

The point of summarising is about building a solid foundation – just like when you were playing with blocks as a kid. When you added a new block on top, you adjusted the ones underneath to make sure the new one wasn’t going to bring the whole tower down. So don’t strain your audience’s memory and attention span, give them a strong foundation!

Most people think it’s enough to just do a nice summary at the end. The danger however is you run the risk of losing most of your audience early and the only thing they will pick up is a couple of buzzwords at the end of the presentation. Now Bob from accounting really does need to know about those revenue projections, so give the man a hand and summarise.

It’s not all that hard to do, and please don’t get intimidated by it.  Here’s an example:
“So far we’ve looked at where we’re at as a company, where we’re headed and how much it looks like we’re going to make within the next 6-12 months. Now let’s move on to…”

Or if you’re going for style points, throw in a slide with a bit of a Quiz on it. Saying the same thing:
What have we covered so far?

  • (A) Where the company is at?
  • (B) Where the company is headed?
  • (C) Revenue projections?
  • (D) All of the above?

See, not too hard, make it easy for your audience to stick with you by not overloading them and reminding them what they’ve just heard. Easy Peasy.

Ok, your turn, do you summarize your information along the way, or are you just trying to get through it as fast as possible?

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