We often hear that less is more and that’s definitely true of trainers and presenters talking. If there’s nothing else you can implement immediately to be more brain friendly in your delivery then work out how to do less talking. Get your audience doing the work because it’s them that need to understand and retain your information – you already know it.
If you currently talk through some slides and demonstrate your expertise/ knowledge/ skills then try this instead. Write out a set of punchy paragraphs to describe each slide. Give one each to groups or individuals and ask them to present back the information in a way that makes sense to them.
They may choose to read out loud, rewrite in their own words, create a flow chart, draw a picture, act it out.
Just before they present the information back (they can still use the slides as supporting media) ask the ‘audience’ to be aware of any questions that the information raises for them; things they aren’t clear about or want to know more about.
After the presentations ask the audience to ask their questions. It may be the groups themselves can answer the questions in which case your information was spot on or it may generate new questions that you can answer as the ‘expert resource’ rather than just the person at the front who does all the talking.
Why is this better than you talking through slides? There are the obvious answers of it’s more interesting to hear different voices and it saves your voice from overworking.
More importantly, how much opportunity is there for the audience’s brains to do work when you talk? Possibly just one as they listen to you. Whether they choose to process that information any more deeply or revisit it is up to them; outside of your control.
If you do this exercise the information has to be processed multiple times rather than just once.
The group have to:
- read the information (brain work)
- work out how to present it (more brain work)
- hear, see or feel themselves or another group present it back (more brain work)
- hear the questions (more…)
- and potentially answer them (more…)
- or get to hear you answer them (even more…).
Either way, the audience have processed that information more often, more deeply and in multiple ways, which creates more links and more chance the information will stick.
There are still opportunities for you as a presenter to tell great stories, illustrate with anecdotes or add your own views but less talking from you will make those opportunities more valuable.
Join us at our ‘Summer special’ How to be a Brain Friendly Trainer for even more ideas – 18/19th August