Presentations, remember v recall.

I sat through an interesting presentation last month, at least at the time I thought it was interesting. Yesterday, however, I told a colleague about it and although I could remember some of what the speaker said I couldn’t remember their name, or many of the details or facts presented.

I did remember we had great coffee though.

How many times have you bumped into someone you’ve met once before and you can’t recall their name? Worse, you meet them when you are with a friend and you should really introduce them but you can’t… because you can’t recall their name. Awkward.

But hey the coffee at that presentation was great and it was the blonde roast. Easy to recall that detail, why? Because it was an experience and one that you liked.

We live in a world of instant communication where we throw our opinions and views out like confetti and skip from message to message at speed so it’s a privilege to be given the chance to slow the world down and have the audience’s undivided attention.

So how do you get your listeners to recall the details of your presentation?

How do you turn your presentation into an experience?

Give them a reason to care. Audiences come not to learn everything you know about a subject but to gain your perspective. Good presenters understand that audiences are looking for information in context, not in full detail. They want to see things differently, learn something new or to be inspired.

Limit your talk to just one big idea, but ideas are complex things; you need to minimise your content so that you can focus on what your most passionate about, and give yourself a chance to explain that one thing properly. You have to step into your audience’s world, use metaphors, share examples, bring it to life. Give your audience an experience to remember and an idea to recall.