BWI Video: How Many Points Can Your Audience Remember?

Beach Walk Insights, Volume 1, Issue 15 - Play time 2m 38s 

Like many business professionals, you'll have probably witnessed the classic 'Top Ten Strategic Initiatives' , in which you were expected to remember way more than was reasonable. It wouldn't be surprising if you struggled to remember just half of those key points immediately after the presentation.

When creating the narrative of your presentation the numbers 'three' and 'five' are key to your audience's memory retention. Your primary reason for presenting in the first place is to convey a memorable message to your audience, and if that isn't achieved then you're simply wasting time.

You may have heard of the 'Rule of Three', and if you haven't, you're bound to recognise it: 'Stop, Look, Listen' is a phase many children were taught to help them cross the road safely. It's no coincidence the way it is written - three short memorable messages which have a natural flow in their delivery.

People have a tendency to remember three points as it's a manageable amount of information to retain. Five is also a good number of points for your audience to remember, so when you are creating your presentation attempt to have three or five key messages which you want your audience to take away.

In this edition of Beach Walk Insights Chris explores the importance of these two numbers and why you should be incorporating them in all of your presentations.


Your Action Plan:

  • Develop your narrative around three or five clear sections, with each section being one of your key messages.
  • If you're creating a slide deck experiment with designing a central theme containing all the points you're discussing. You can refer back to the central theme throughout your presentation.
Posted on September 19, 2014 .