Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Presentation Effectiveness: How To Get Your Message Across?

Regardless of the length of a presentation, audience members will recall no more than one important message or significant finding from a presentation, and, unless it is reinforced later, will forget even that one message or finding in about one week. They'll retain impressions about the speaker, but not what was said. The only time a majority of the audience agrees on what the important messages or findings were, is when one or more of the following occurs:
a) the message/finding is emphasized at the very beginning and/or very end of the presentation, b) there is significant two-way conversation about the message/finding during the presentation, c) the message/finding is said repeatedly during the presentation, ideally by more than one person
d) the message/finding is conveyed by means of a story, joke, example or anecdote. In the absence of one of the above four 'aids', the probability that more than a small minority of the audience will understand what the presenter was actually trying to convey is close to zero. Powerpoint slides with bullets, artwork & photos don't help understanding or retention. Charts, tables and 'top 10' lists can help, but only if they're simple, elegant, compelling, useful to keep, and are properly explained.



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posted by Robin Good on Thursday, April 29 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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