Learn. Design. Coach. Perform.

Learn. Design. Coach. Perform.

Monday, June 7, 2010

They'll Never Forget You...

Retention. It's critical.
That chalk-talk you just gave? Chances are that the audience will recall about 5% of what you said. Talk for an hour? They remember about 3 mins worth of information.
Retaining information well means we can use the information to make choices when it counts -- on the job.
There are (at least) three ways to boost retention:

1. Chunk the content.

No one loves an 8 hour firehosing, and no one remembers much except the pain of the ordeal. Your audience is hard wired to hold 7+/-2 new things in their working memory at any time. Then, they need to pause, practice, play & biobreak. That working memory is what feeds long term memory. Short circuit the working part, and nothing goes to long term storage.

2. Memory by association.

Use what they already know, and associate it with you new information. This requires that you 1) figure out what your audience already knows and 2) identify the 7+/-2 new things you will add to their mental repertoire.

3. Interaction.

Less boring and more effective! We often present as if we are opening up skulls & pouring in data. Our heads are more like colanders than stew pots. To get stuff to stay in there, you need to shake it around, move it to different parts of the brain. Your audience also needs to practice using their shiny new knowledge (repetition & association) to help it arrive in long term memory. Here are some tips of how to mix it up and get it moving.

Happy interactivating!

No comments:

Post a Comment