Presentation skills

Ten ways to make your presentation memorable

How much of your presentation will your audience remember – and for how long?

Studies have drawn similarly discouraging conclusions. One, based on a 10-minute presentation, showed that people remembered just 50% of what was said immediately afterwards, dropping to 25% the next day and a mere 10% a week later.

Another, based on an online presentation of 20 slides, showed that people remembered just four out of 20 slides after 48 hours.

The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to make your presentations more memorable overall and increase the chances that your audience will remember the most important bits.…

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Is your presentation architecturally sound?

If you want your presentations to have impact they need to be easy to listen to, easy to follow and easy to remember. You can achieve these goals through organisation.

A well-organised presentation has the following architectural features:

  • A logical structure, with a beginning, a middle and an end, much like a story;
  • A clearly stated purpose. Ideally this should be audience-focused. That means it’s not so much about what you want to say as about what your audience will gain by listening to you;
  • A route map, with signposts along the way so that the audience can see where they are going (what the presentation will cover), how far they’ve come and how close they are to the end of the journey;
  • A set of clear messages, ideas or themes in the body of the presentation, each supported by relevant evidence, statistics and examples.
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Planning a presentation? Don’t do another thing until you’ve answered these questions…

Presentation expert Ken Haemer famously said: ‘Designing a presentation without an audience in mind is like writing a love letter and addressing it: To Whom It May Concern’.

Presumably none but the most die-hard serial polygamists would dream of taking that approach to love letters; so why do so many presenters think it’s okay to work with a single generic slide deck that is wheeled out for every presentation?…

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Ten things every presenter can learn from TED Talks

TED Talks: how did we ever manage without them? What a rich store of wisdom, wit, creative thinking and sheer brainpower is freely accessible to all in that online collection of 18-20 minutes presentations

And what a gift they are to any speaker looking to raise their presenting game and improve their influencing skills.

As a presentation skills trainer, spending much of my time on the basics, it is nothing short of inspirational to watch and listen to experts in their fields with so much to say saying it so persuasively, so economically, and in many cases without the aid of a single PowerPoint slide.…

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Presentations and the myth of multi-tasking


One of the great myths of modern life is that people – particularly women – can do more than one thing at a time: cook while watching TV; study while listening to music; drive while talking on the ‘phone; text while watching a presentation…


In fact, according to psychologist  Susan M Weinschenk in her very useful book 100 things every presenter needs to know about people, multitasking is a misnomer: what we actually do is switch tasks, often so rapidly that we don’t realise we are doing it.…

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Don’t bury the lead

There’s this memorable bit in James L Brooks’ wonderful media movie Broadcast News where brilliant but prickly TV reporter Aaron tells gifted but neurotic producer Jane why she shouldn’t run off with his charismatic but unethical rival Tom.

‘He personifies everything you’ve been fighting against’, he pleads. ‘And I’m in love with you. How do you like that – I buried the lead!’

Think like a journalist

Burying the lead – relegating your most important message to a subsidiary position – is something no self-respecting journalist would ever do.…

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