Would you like a magic formula that will make people remember the message of your presentation?
Is it really that easy? Mmmm, well, yes and no.
Creating and delivering an effective presentation can be elusive. You think you have it nailed but when you stand up to speak and you see from the audience’s body language that you’re just not getting through, you realise that this game is much complex than it seems.
You know your presentation has been successful if the audience go away doing, thinking or feeling what you want them to. And if they do, they will certainly remember your presentation because you will have changed them in some way.
For the audience to get to that place of change, you need to ensure your communication is impactful and completely relevant to them.
So the magic formula is:
Impact + Relevance = Memorability
Never forget it. It’s short but very powerful.
Let’s look more closely at those two components, impact and relevance.
In the defintion of ‘impact’ in the online dictionary, Word Reference, the word ‘collide’ is used several times.
To create impact in a presentation, we need content that literally collides with the audience’s expectations and current beliefs. Yes, in a business presentation you will need to refer to facts, figures and statistics but these penetrate the brain very slowly. The challenge is to intersperse your dry information with content that causes surprise and appeals to the audience’s emotions.
- Telling a powerful personal story about how your product or service is benefitting your clients in terms of health, money or freedom.
- Bringing in a physical object that appears to have nothing to do with your topic… but to the surprise of your audience, it does.
- Using a metaphor that your listeners can all relate to, to explain a complicated, technical topic.
There are many ways you can create impact if you just use a little imagination. By evoking emotions of shock, gratitude, pride, awe or distaste to name just a few of the hundreds of emotions we are capable of feeling, you will make your audience remember you and your presentation message.
Our emotional memory is far more powerful than our rational memory. So, to achieve impact, aim to touch emotions as much as your topic and audience profile will reasonably let you.
But all this needs to have relevance and be done in context. And that context is your audience.
You see, audiences are a very selfish bunch. And in addition, their time is very, very precious.
The impactful messages you’ve prepared may impress the audience at that moment, but they won’t stick in their mind unless what you are saying relates totally to their world.
With everything you say the audience are thinking, consciously or sub-consciously, “so what?” You need to make sure you’re answering that “so what?” with everything you say in your presentation. Really spell out the benefits the audience will experience if they follow your recommendations and make sure you spell them out using emotional language and telling stories that they can completely identify with.
Conversely, if your audience stand to lose something if they don’t listen to you, don’t be afraid to paint a very negative picture, make them feel the pain.
So before you start to prepare your presentation, find out as much as you can about your audience’s aspirations, concerns and environment.
Making your presentation message completely relevant to your audience’s world and communicating that message in an emotionally impactful way will ensure you stand out from the crowd and are remembered.