The science of presentations is a big deal

A lot of scientific research has been done into how our brains retain information and how this can be used can be used to our advantage when presenting information that we want people to remember. Unfortunately most of this scientific research is ignored in the business world as most people are concerned with relaying the maximum amount of information possible within a certain time slot.

We strongly believe that science is vital to getting your message across. In this blog post we will look at some ways in which you can use brain science to help you present your ideas.

Exercise improves cognition by increasing oxygen flow into the brain. Admittedly it’s very hard to get people moving during a presentation, but if you can arrange the room so it is less like a classroom format where people are under the impression that they have to sit completely still for the entirety of the presentation, then you may find that your audience’s minds are less likely to wander.

Stressed brains don’t perform the same way as non-stressed brains. Stress damages memory and executive function. Obviously you have no control over a person’s mood when they walk into the room, but making the atmosphere a bit light hearted by greeting people and telling a few jokes or interesting anecdotes may make them feel more relaxed, and ultimately listen and remember more of your presentation.

After the 10 minute mark audience our attention plummets. To stop your audience from losing interest, try to do something emotionally stimulating every 10 minutes as emotion makes the brain pay attention. You could tell a joke or story, show a video or embark on a bit of audience participation. The brain is not capable of multi-tasking and you make on average 3 times more errors on a task when you are interrupted. Don’t make your audience multi-task by making them try to listen to you whilst also reading blocks of text on the screen or on a hand out. Put just a heading on the screen along side some visuals, and leave the hand-outs until the end so the audience listens to you rather than reading the information for themselves while you speak.

Vision is the most dominant sense for humans. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%. Avoid lots of text within your slides and use relevant imagery to help people associate the pictures with the details.

Try to bear some of this scientific research in mind when creating your presentation. If you would like more advice on the science of presentations, get in touch with us.

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