Become A Better Presenter Part 5
Avoid TMI – Too Much Information
How much of your carefully prepared words do you think your audience will remember once it is over? Some research suggests that after a ten minute presentation the audience remembered about 50% of what they had heard, a day later they remembered 25% and a week later less than 10%.
So, if that is the case, you would be advised to decide which 10% you would like them to retain, and concentrate that into about three key points, so the message is clear and easily memorable – too many points will be confusing and will go in one ear and out the other!
To make the points stick in their minds you can use stories to support your presentation but I would suggest that the most powerful way to help them retain the information is to use good visuals. The majority of people (particularly the under 30’s) are visual learners and pictures will stay in their mind long after words have been forgotten. Again, make sure the pictures you use support the points that you are making.
Good visuals are not just a list of things you are going to say. Many people use their visuals like a set of notes, listing the points they are going to cover. Remember your slides are not a reminder for you, they are for your audience and they’re there to help the audience to learn and understand what you are saying.
Good visuals should contain few words but should illustrate and emphasise the points you are making with photos, pictures, simple diagrams, easy to understand graphs, videos etc. Nothing is more boring than the speaker who puts up a load of words onto the screen and then proceeds to read them out.
To ensure your audience retain the things you want them to remember give them a handout or direct them to a website where they can get more information. It’s best to do this at the end of your presentation to ensure you keep their attention on you when you are talking.
Remember that you probably know much more about your subject that your audience do and so it’ll be easy to confuse them by trying to give them too much information. Try your speech on a friend or relative before you deliver it to test weather or not your information is too detailed.
In the next section we’ll discuss how to PREPARE correctly