July 6, 2023

Don't let your audience forget where you started before the destination

How I make sure long demos and presentations don’t confuse my audience.

Have you ever sat through a presentation and found yourself forgetting the beginning by the time it ended?

You're not alone.

In fact, it's not your fault; it's science.

According to research, our working memory can only hold onto 3-4 items at a time. After that, our minds drop the oldest information. This means that if your demo or sales pitch has more than 4 main concepts, your customers are scientifically proven to forget some of them.

And if they receive a Slack message in the middle, you've lost one memory slot.

This limitation of our working memory is known as "cognitive load," and it affects our ability to retain information. When we are presented with too much information at once, our brains struggle to process it all, and we end up forgetting most of it.

So, how do I combat this cognitive overload and ensure that my customers remember the point I was trying to make?

The answer is keeping my key points in 3-4 logical groups and I will repeat them multiple times throughout your presentation.

By doing this, you are reducing the cognitive load on your audience and increasing the chances that they will remember the most important information.

These groups act as a waypoint for our memory.

Also, by repeating your key points, you are reinforcing them in your audience's minds and making them more memorable. This technique is known as "spaced repetition," and it has been proven to be an effective way of improving memory retention.

Forgetting the beginning by the end of a presentation is a common problem when you’re presenting a complex topic. But if you have an understanding of the science behind cognitive load and using techniques like grouping and repetition, I can ensure that my audience remembers the most important information from the presentation.

Try it out and let me know how it works for you.

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