The goal of any event is to create a memorable experience for the audience, one that will be recalled forever. A common weakness of many events or performances is that no one remembers what it was about or what was said. Needless to say it needs to be effective and you must work to make it dynamic, unique, and unforgettable.
Research has shown that only after 24 hours after a performance, the audience will forget at least 50% of all the information presented. Another 24 hours goes by and another 50% will be forgotten. This means that two days after hearing a presentation or experiencing an event, no matter how attentive the audience was, they will forget approximately 75% of everything they heard, saw, or experienced.
Everyone I’m sure, has heard of short-term and long-term memory. Short-term memory allows you to remember someone’s name right after you have heard it for up to two minutes. This is also the type of memory you use when you don’t need the information after its immediate use.
Long-term memory allows you to remember that name longer. Usually because that person, in your mind, will be someone you will need to remember in the future for some reason or another, or he or she made some sort of impression on you.
Events and performances that truly make an impact are the ones that can effectively communicate its message so it goes into their audience’s long-term memory.
Therefore your goal is to create this experience for your audience. Here are a few sure-fire ways to do this:
• Make what you say cause a mental picture. Doing this enhances people’s memory. Use words that create a picture in their minds instead of just telling them about something or making a statement.
• Tell a story. Don’t just say what you want to say, make it an interesting story, so they can ‘see’ it happening in their minds. People always remember good stories. Long after the audience has forgotten your name and your presentation, they will remember your stories.
• Be charismatic. Be friendly and engaging. Be full of energy. Engage the audience with conversations and questions. Smile!
• Use humor and surprise. This will increase your audience’s attentiveness, helping to move your material into their long-term memory. Tell a joke. Do something that will shock the audience.
• Repeat and restate things. Research shows that if you repeat a fact seven times, the likelihood of remembering that fact is 80%. Don’t just assume your message was heard and move on.
• Use anchoring. Anchoring is the act of helping to implant an idea, concept, or principle into someone’s memory. This can be done visually, aurally, and/or kinesthetically.
o Visual: Some people ‘listen’ with their eyes so using something to draw on or showing actual pictures or videos can help.
o Aural: Play some music or play a recording of sounds.
o Kinesthetic: Many people are ‘hands-on’ and remember by touching or doing something, so get your audience involved with actual props.
• Play a game. A good portion of an event’s or presentation’s impact comes from the beginning and the end (25% impact for each) so it makes sense to end with a bang. One way is to use games. Games will help review your material, add some fun and creativity, and also increase attentiveness.
Incorporating any or all of these techniques will undoubtedly produce at least one ‘stand out’ memory with your audiences. And even if it’s only one thing that sticks in their minds, then you’ve given them something that will remain with them for the long run. Guaranteed they will take this memory and go out into the world and tell their friends and family all about their memorable experience they had!