How do they remember your message?

Don't forget [purple filter]

For you as a speaker, it is essential that your audience can remember your most important message. The goal of your presentation is that your audience will do something (different), act upon a call to action. Not only in the room but also sometimes long after they have left the room. In your call to action during your presentation, you ask your audience to do something like visit your website, consider buying one of your products or call you.
However, you may not be around when your audience needs to follow up on your call to action. So how do you make sure that you and your message are remembered? How do you ‘penetrate’ into your audience’s long-term memory? In this article I will share 3 effective ways.

  1. Limit your most important points to a maximum of 3.
    I sometimes think that there is an universal urge to tell e-ve-ry-thing they should know about a subject and have to make every piece of information equally important. Especially when the subject is our domain or our passion, we want to be heard. Your audience, however, is not looking for a lot of information but for advice and inspiration.
  2. Repeat one message in different ways. It’s better to present just a few points in many different ways than many points in only 1 way. For example: explain a certain idea, illustrate it by an example and then offer an exercise so that the audience experiences something. Or statistic evidence combined with a practical story explaining the meaning of that evidence is typically also well remembered. Try and pick varying ways of supporting a point that combine emotions (feelings, heart) and intellect (knowledge, head).
  3. Make your audience think.In his book ‘Why don’t students like school’, professor Daniel Willingham describes many insights in the functioning of the brain. One principle that can easily be applied in presentations is ‘Memory is a residue of thought’. This is about the fact that memory is not about what you want to remember, but that it is a product of what you think about. How can you make your audience think? Some examples:
  • * Pause during your presentation as to create a natural moment of reflection;
  • * Combine newly acquired knowledge with existing knowledge: ‘Now that you have heard what type of personality this is, take a minute and think about the people you know who also have these characteristics’;
  • * Repetition by a reflective question: ‘Did you meet such a person last week? Last week? Perhaps even today? Think of what happened!

Your audience will remember your main message when you limit your most important points, repeat your message and create moments of reflection (thinking).
Now take a moment here and THINK what you will do next time when you are speaking …:-)
Good luck with your presentation!