How to make a presentation memorable

The following insight came from my podcast interview with Lauren Waldman, where she talked about how to encode memories how to teach someone how to learn.

I’ve had people come to me and say, Lauren, I’ve got 15 minutes. I am meeting with all the stakeholders, and I need to get in what I need to get in, and I need to get their buy in 15 minutes. I’m like, okay, hard task. Let’s do this. 

First of all, we know that emotionally triggering, getting the emotions involved. The brain’s emotional centers are highly interconnected with executive function. So we see that it’s part of our decision-making process; it’s part of every memory and coding. Tapping into specific types of emotion is always a benefit. But you have to be careful because you don’t want to trigger people in the wrong way. So definitely on the side of caution when you’re trying to design with emotion and novelty. That is because the brain loves novelty. So anything that makes it more novel will be contextually relevant to what you’re trying to present or sell or market. So how do you make that novel so that it can latch on to something like that? 

Repetition helps those points; remain in someone’s mind longer. The theory of primacy and recency is, say it first, say it again, last. So, for example, if I’m in a room, and I need to say something, or I need someone to be if I want to be heard and remembered, I’m going to make sure that I say something at the very beginning. And I’m going to try my best to be the last person to speak as well. And tap into that theory of primacy and recency. 

It’s one thing if I’m working with somebody one on one, it’s another thing when I’ve got an audience of 1000s. You have to look at it from that challenge. I love bringing things down to that level of human experience, something that I can probably find that we’ve all experienced in one way, shape, or form in our lives. So that is the way to sound grounded, like, Oh, yeah, I remember when that happened. Okay, I can relate to that. When you’re able to sort of tap into an existing memory, an existing network in someone’s brain, then you can keep building and scaffolding on that. And that’s also part of the memory encoding process. We know that it’s easier to attach memory to something that’s already existing than to create a completely new neural pathway, which becomes a lot more challenging as we get older. But that’s what we’ve got the scaffolding. And what we call schemas are attaching things or groups of things to things that already exist.

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