Jesse Scinto: Presentations Are Not About Informing

According to Jesse Scinto…

“A lot of people think presentations are about informing, but here’s the problem with that view…”

“Audience members remember very little of what they hear in a presentation.”

“If the purpose really is to inform, then consider writing a document that you can leave with people.”

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Jesse: A lot of people think that presentations are about informing but, here’s the problem with that view. As I mentioned just a little while ago audience members remember very little of what they hear in a presentation. It’s just not humanly possible to remember that much, and people should know this from their own experience. You can walk away from a presentation thinking that was great, but you’re not going to remember any of the numbers that we put on the screen.

Matt: That’s completely true.

Jesse: Yeah. If you need people to remember those numbers there’s a better way to do it which is to give them a document to take away. A document that they can refer to whenever they need to, they can go back and reread. When we’re speaking we basically give the audience one shot to get the message. If they missed something they can’t go back, they can’t rewind, they can’t flip back. Again, the purpose really is to inform then consider writing a document that you can leave with people.

Jesse Scinto is a public speaking expert and lecturer in the Strategic Communications Department at Columbia University in New York.

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