Re-post from Matt Church: The Mathematics of Retention

Check out more from Matt at his web site here.

Too often when speaking in public, presenters try to give you all of their information. To be world class, don’t make too many points within your speech. Five points, give or take up to two, is the rule. We tend to retain what we can count on one hand. Presenters who presume to teach 21 tips in 21 minutes are pretty content-centred, and do not really respect the mathematics of retention.

Some tips:

1.   Have 3-7 core messages to your presentation
2.   Every 7-15 minutes or so, introduce a new point
3.   Always have less rather than more. Fear makes us over-prepare content
4.   Have a “bare bones” version of your speech prepared with 1-3 points only
5.   Always have one overarching point for every speech, and make this very clear

Less is more.


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