Did you know that people receive 40 billion sensory inputs every second? Our memory takes a lot of mental resources! Unfortunately, people can only consciously deal with four things at a time and can be easily distracted. What can you do as a presenter to help prevent memory disruption, minimize what people have to remember, and all the while ensure a successful presentation? Here are some tips:
- People can remember things they see (visual memory) better than words. Use images with or instead of words on slides.
- Don’t just tell, rather, show people through examples, stories or exercises.
- Try not to interrupt people if they are learning or encoding information.
- Give people frequent breaks if you want them to remember information.
- If some of the information is important for people to remember, plan to repeat it several times during your presentation.
- If you want people to remember information accurately, provide them with a summary handout after the presentation for them to refer to later.
When it comes to working memory, remember that less is more!