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Speak Out to Play a Bigger Game

Does your audience remember your presentation? The primacy and recency effect.

September 29, 2017 | Paula Smith

Remember

A quick and easy tip to help you plan your next presentation.

The most critical parts of your presentation are your opening and closing.

Apart from your presentation opening needing to grab the attention of the audience right from the start, you need to ensure your critical key messages are communicated at the beginning of your presentation or very close to and reinforced at the end of your presentation. Your audience will remember the first and last things you say to them so make sure your powerful key messages are communicated in the places where your audience is more likely to retain them.

The law of primacy and recency (also referred to as the primacy and recency effect suggests that we retain information first presented to us and information presented to us at the end of a presentation or conversation but we tend to forget much in the middle.

A 2013 study also found that the primacy effect is prominent in decision making. Great news for those board meetings and sales presentations. There is a large importance of the first reward on subsequent behaviour. The reward in a presentation may be a piece of exciting news or mind-blowing statistic or the unveiling of a new product in a sales presentation. This will prime the audience for more rewards as you continue.

Your audience should be able to recall the main point of your presentation with ease long after the presentation has finished so they can either share the information with others or take any action suggested from the presenter.

With this is mind, don’t wing your opening or closing. Craft a clever opening that gets attention and arouses curiosity that is aligned to the purpose and key message of your presentation.

When it’s time to close your presentation loop it back to your opening statements, phrases, actions or message and make sure the last words they hear you say are the ones you want them to remember and repeat.

How much work do you put into crafting your opening and closing?

Are your presentations memorable?

If you would to become a more powerful presenter reach out to explore how we can work together. Paula delivers a handful of public programmes throughout the year, coaches private clients or book an in-house master class for the key people in your organisation.

Keynote Speaker CSP, Master Trainer and Coach
Paula has been helping experts, entrepreneurs, leaders and teams to harness the power of powerful presentation skills and high-level communication for the past 30 years. 

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