Posted October 12, 2010on:
How to write a presentation which makes the point as well as keeping the audience’s attention:
More often than not presenters want to share everything they know about their subject. That’s like juggling the kitchen sink, the bedroom furniture, and the children’s toys all at the same time. Your listener gets overwhelmed, their interest wanes, and your point gets lost in the detail. So how do you stop this from happening?
Connect with your audience. What are their interests, needs, and concerns? Stand in their shoes and see the situation from their point of view. By selecting the relevant information to juggle for your listener, you ensure their attention from the outset.
Stick to the Rule of Three. Be selective. Three points, supported by no more than three sub-points each, is plenty for both you and your audience to juggle at one time.
Summarise. No matter how interesting, relevant, and engaging your presentation, your audience will forget what you’ve said if you fail to remind them. When you begin, tell them what you are going to tell them. In the middle, tell them. At the end, tell them what you told them. By juggling your presentation this way, your listener will retain your message.
REMEMBER: A long string of facts and data is hard to remember. When you chunk information into three sub-divisions it’s much easier to retain. Example: the letter sequence – adgjlmcnb is more easily remembered as adg – jlm – cnb.
TIP: Research shows that the brain can easily process pictures and words simultaneously, so juggle some visuals into your presentations. Images add impact.
TECHNICAL: Neuroscientists state that the human brain has a finite attention span. After 20 minutes it simply ‘shuts off’. So juggle information into three 20 minute sessions as opposed to giving a 1 hour presentation.
CAUTION: Avoid text heavy slides. Studies show that the brain cannot effectively juggle visual and verbal words simultaneously.
FINALLY: By applying juggling skills to your presentations you connect with your audience, refine your content, and enhance your delivery.
COMMENTS: As always we value your thoughts and experiences. What hints and tips can you share about your juggling skills?
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