Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when the tragic news of 9/11 broke but we often can’t remember what we did yesterday.

Why?

Because our brains are wired to recall emotionally dramatic events (positive as well as negative) and ignore the mundane and ordinary.

In a similar way, presentations that include an emotionally charged event create a heightened state of emotion in the audience that makes them much more memorable and enjoyable. This can be done by telling a story, using props and images, or sharing some unexpected statistics.

Some of our favourite examples of presentations that include extreme jaw dropping moments include:

  • Bill Gates – when he released a jar of mosquitos into an audience in his Ted talk on some of the world’s biggest problems.
  • Dr Jill Bolte Taylor – when she brought out a real human brain in her talk about her personal experience of having a stroke.
  • Hugh Herr – his Ted talk on the development of bionics that ‘let us run, climb and dance’ (watch it below). In particular, the moment at the end of his talk when Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a victim of the 2013 Boston marathon bombing comes on stage for her first dance since the attack.

The audience response to the speaker’s dramatic action speaks for itself. They look interested, enthralled, alive… and some of their jaws are actually dropping open!

Try and apply this to your own presentations. You may be presenting on something your audience have seen many times and the topic may not be nearly as emotional as these talks but wouldn’t it be good to make the effort to surprise them? They’re more likely to remember what you’ve said if you do!

If you would like to know how to use positive psychology and neuroscience within your own presentation we can show you how – contact us today.

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