Everyone who gives a presentation wants it to be meaningful and knowing how an audience absorbs information is a key factor. Below are some reminders and insights as to how audiences retain information. It’s our hope that if one follows these guidelines, you will have more successful presentations and interactions.
65% of the US population are visual learners which means they need visuals to associate a relationship between thoughts, objects or theories. Give them a chart and show them a lot of graphics that relate between your points and you’ve captured them. Most presenters only focus on this group. But that is only a portion of people – a little more than half of your audience – what about the rest?
Auditory learners want to hear info rather than see it and at times they often repeat info to remember. If you allow people to reword or repeat what your points are, they will become engaged in your speech, ie. This group is most likely to ask questions from the audience – such as ‘if I understand you correctly…’ They represents 30% of our population. Tell them a story and how it relates to the graphics or visuals – and now you’ve captured them. Story is key, they are examples of struggles – a way for them to identify with you.
Lastly, we have kinesthetic learners who make up 5%. These are the hands-on people who learn best by doing. Anything related to hands-on experience such as workshops or an audience exercise – and now you’ve just captured your entire audience.
In addition, one can get a leg up if questions are asked of the Conference Director in regards to demographics, it’s not just age, sex, sales or operations. Hopefully they are taking into account other analytics to help you make your presentation a great experience ie. depts, apps, social media. If you are unsure of your audience in the beginning, take a quick poll in the first few moments before you dive into your speech, a raise of hands to questions, 3-4 points. This will not only give you insight as to whom you are speaking to but also how to mold your presentation and gear it towards something more meaningful. Your information is important, but think about your audience and how this info will be used in the future.
To reach all – Consider using the graphics – provide builds if you are showing large amounts of data – and with data, keep it simple – you’ll begin to lose a lot of people if you don’t. Begin to connect your points by telling real life stories, an example of when you experienced success and failure. Then take a moment to build a relation exercise for them, sometimes it’s as easy as a perception exercise. Ie. have everyone close their eyes and perceive what the best process workflow would be, or the best client experience. The idea here is that each person will because of their background, age and influences will experience the exercise different – not all think the same way you do.
Here is something most will not do…walk into the audience – yes interact with them. Stages and Lecterns can also block connections. Step out to reach them, that’s what they came for. An audiences hopes you will make a difference with their own struggles or processes. Give them what they came for.
If you’d like more information about reaching your audience effectively, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Audience Engagement Group
Cognitive Marketing – Exceptional Events