Preparing For a Powerful Delivery
Remember To Repeat
In Chapter Four, we explored the
process of building your presentation from the end.
Begin with the goal and work your way backward. During
your talk or presentation, repeat key points that lead
your audience toward your goal.
If your intention is for your
audience to take action as a result of your
presentation, you’ll need them to retain some
information from your presentation for a while after
you’ve finished speaking. In order for them to do that,
the information must enter their long-term memory. To
get into long-term memory, it first has to pass through
working memory (formerly known as short-term memory).
Unfortunately, information can only reside in working
memory for about ten seconds, and then it’s gone.
The brain is always scouring the
sensory environment for new input, looking for patterns
and trying to predict what’s going to happen next.
Because of this, whatever information finds its way into
working memory is quickly replaced by new information.
Hermann Ebbinghaus discovered the
exponential nature of the brain’s ability to
forget data. His research shows that the
speed in which the brain forgets depends on a number of
factors, such as the difficulty of the learned material,
how the material is represented and such physiological
sleep deprivation. His research also shows
that one way to galvanize information into long-term
memory is through intermittent repetition.
While Ebbinghaus’ studies relate
mostly to measuring memory over the course of months or
years, the principles hold true on more micro levels as
well, such as minutes or days.
So, what’s the lesson? Spaced
repetition is like glue that helps information stick in
the mind of your audience. Select the primary message of
your presentation, and repeat it from time-to-time, to
help your audience retain the message and be able to
take action when you’ve completed your presentation.