In part 1 of the Psychology of Design, we looked at why and how your audience gets bored. In part 2, we look at how you can encourage better memory retention so your audience can get something valuable from your presentation.
Encouraging memory retention is important because it means your presentation made an impact. After all the time and effort you’ve put into creating a presentation and writing a speech, you want to ensure that your audience finds something valuable in the information.
Memory Retention Consists of 3 stages
- We encode information in a visual, aural, or semantic form. Initially, our memory is processed as a picture, sound, or information that we ascribe meaning.
- Information is stored in our short-term memory or long-term memory, depending on the way we stored the information (more on this later).
- Retrieval of stored information is triggered through cues associated with the memory.
Fortunately for you, your presentation contains vital elements to ensure memory retention. The mind is complex and our cognitive abilities aren’t always so clear-cut when memories are involved. There are ways to encourage the retention of information and they can include a few popular methods such as information through meaning where new information becomes associated with existing long-term memory, or visual organisation which links information with visual images.
Presentations already contain elements which encourage memory retention. Here are some important elements you can capitalise on when presenting.
We Remeber What Interests Us
People are more likely to remember information that they found interesting. If your audience is fascinated by your presentation, they are more engaged and will easily recall information at a later date. There are many things to consider when making your presentation look more interesting.
We Leverage Visual Memory
Memory is predominantly visual and lucky for you, so is your presentation. Having standout information or visual elements which grasps your audience will help them understand, retain, and recall the information. Create a visual language for your audience by selecting a colour scheme and cohesive visual collateral.
We Write Important Things Down
While I’m definitely not suggesting you need to get your audience rote learning your slides (although it would make for a fun experiment), we learn best when we write things we need to remember down. In a similar way, when creating your slides, consider highlight or increasing the size of words or phrases that are important.