Six Ways To Make Your Presentation Memorable
If your audience members don't REMEMBER your presentation, and don't remember the RIGHT things from your presentation, you can't have an impact. Here are some relatively unknown suggestions about how to make a presentation with impact, and focus the audience on your key points.
Use Story Telling and Master The Skill
People remember stories. For centuries people have been using the oral tradition to get across their points to others. If you do a lot of presentations, learn the art of story telling, and use it. Remember, though that stories from real life need to be relevant, interesting, and if possible, amusing, or poignant. If you want to learn more about the art, listen to shows like the Prairie Home Companion, or The Vinyl Cafe, two stellar examples of the power of stories used on radio.
Focus The Audience On Key Takeaways
You want the audience to remember what YOU want them to remember; in effect the points you are making. Repetition of key points is important, as is tying in the details of your presentation to a theme, or two or three takeaway points. Highlight using just a few Powerpoint slides. Less is more when it comes to visuals. Make sure you sum up, once again, tying everything together. The LAST thing people should hear is you returning to the theme.
Limit The Scope Of Your Presentation
Again, here, less is more. Less experienced presenters tend to try to accomplish too much, or push too many details on audience members. The more you surround your essential points with other ideas, the more they will be obscured. Take into account the time you have, and if you can't "cover" everything, use handouts for the rest. Make sure you explain why the handouts are important to look at.
Use The Unusual To Increase Memory
People remember the unusual in presentations. If you have skills that others don't (magic skills, singing, etc) and part of your mandate is to be entertaining, use them. However, every thing you do in a presentation should have a clear purpose RELATED TO YOUR CONTENT. Strive for the unusual, but only if you an tie in to your theme.
Use Pacing Well
People also habituate to anything that is repeated, or goes on for too long. That's why too many Powerpoint slides is a problem. There are two kinds of pace. One is the rate of content/ideas that you are sharing. A high content pace means you are putting forth a lot of content, and ideas that require thought. It's the part that people need to think about. The other pace (speaking pace) is HOW you deliver it. Introduce enough of the later (vary your movement, gestures, use of slides, tone of voice, and speaking rate). The more variation here the more attention you'll get.
However, as you increase your speaking pace, lower your content pace, and vice versa. Complex ideas need more time to think.
Use APPROPRIATE Humor
Humor is important, but it has to be appropriate. Avoid canned jokes. Use wit, and unusual stories, audience members have not heard. Don't use humor unrelated to your theme/topic since it distracts. You don't want the audience to remember jokes. You want the audience to remember something amusing that relates to your theme. Also, some topics do not lend themselves well to humor because of their seriousness. Again, appropriate is everything.
Simple ideas, but not always easy to do. You need to work at it. Learn from audience reactions during the session, and try to monitor their attention.
- Use Appropriate Humor
- Use Story Telling
- Master Content and Speaking Pace
- Use The Unusual
- Limit The Scope Of The Presentation
- Focus, Focus Focus The Audience
Do You Present To Difficult Or Resistant Audiences?
Here's more speaking tips from our LearnBytes Mini-Guide on how to deal with groups that may not be happy to hear what you need to say. To get your own copy, and learn how to deal with these tough presentation situations, click here for more details. Be prepared because tough audiences HURT!