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What Can Your Audience Absorb?

When giving a presentation, how much information can you provide, and how do you provide it without losing the audience? Kathy Reiffenstein has the answers.

An Audience of Sponges

Before doing anything else, distinguish between what information is vital and what is just nice to know; stick with the former. After that, think about your rate of speech and aim for a natural volume that is not boringly slow or frustratingly fast. Study up on how much your audience already knows about your subject, and cater the level of complexity used in your information accordingly. Take the same attitude to jargon use, and use colorful language to excite the audience. Present information according to a digestible outline and frequently summarize. Reiffenstein concludes with three key techniques for helping the audience absorb information. First, use pictures and graphs to make a point faster and more potently than with text alone. Second, tell memorable stories that convey your key points. Third, and related to the second point, provide examples of key points with which your audience can personally identify. If your audience still does not understand you after all of this, maybe they are just stupid. You can read the original post here: http://andnowpresenting.typepad.com/professionally_speaking/2009/10/what-can-your-audience-absorb.html

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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