Memorable presentation structure. (Brain Rule #5)

Repeat to remember: Memorable presentation structures (Brain Rule #5)

What makes a memorable presentation structure? The answer is repetition.
What makes a memorable presentation structure? The answer is repetition.

Don’t worry, that’s not a massive typo! We’re making an obvious point that repetition is one technique that helps the brain to store information.

Imagine what you do when told a phone number, but with no way to record it (no pen, paper or smartphone!). So you repeat it, probably out loud, and you cluster the numbers together perhaps, and you repeat it again. It’s a natural technique we’ve learnt to prevent information from escaping from our fleeting working memory. We have learnt that repetition, however clumsy it might feel, helps us to recall information in the future.

Brain Rules in presentations

Do you consider this technique when putting together a presentation? Obviously, we don’t recommend a single slide with the message over and over again… but there are structural & navigational devices we can use that make it natural to include some repetition.  Such strategies put your key messages up front and easy to follow within a memorable presentation structure…

Generally, the human brain can only hold 5 pieces of (new) information for less than 30 seconds. Good brains can handle 7, other brains just 3. It’s a bit like the skill of juggling, most people will be able to manage 3, but only a few can juggle 7! So consider the information that you need your audience to actually remember, and do your best to cluster that information within overall messages.

Top tip:

A memorable presentation structure for us would involve dividing all your content to fall under 3 key messages. These 3 messages would be stated early on in the presentation, and each one used as a divider slide. The dividers would then be repeated for each key message, with the relevant section highlighted. And we’d likely also have a summary slide to repeat those 3 key messages.

This might feel like it won’t “flow”, but we guarantee that your audience will be more likely to remember your information. For your audience too it will feel structured, organised, and clear.

Trust us: you’ll get brownie points, and you’ll have a memorable presentation structure.