How to make your presentations truly memorable

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What do you want to achieve when you’re presenting?

Surely you want to be heard and understood. But what’s the goal of your presentation?

Is it just to engage your audience in the moment you’re presenting?

How about one hour after your presentation? Will they remember you then?

How about a week after?

You want to be remembered, and the one surefire way to make your presentation truly memorable is… to provide something ACTIONABLE. This makes your content live on long after the presentation is done.

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You want to enter the daily routine of your audience. But how?

Maybe you can teach them a trick that saves them time or effort. Maybe you can give them a new way of looking at something they have in front of them everyday. Maybe you can show them how to apply what you just talked about in their daily work. Or it could be something they do on their daily commute. Or with their kids.

I know it’s not always possible. But whenever you can: provide something ACTIONABLE to your audience.

It will cement your presentation in their memory.

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Polka! by nicolaitan on Flickr

It will associate you with the new technique, the new gesture, or the new idea you taught. It will make your name and your qualities top-of-mind for your audience from that moment on.

And it will work wonders for your reputation, your authority, and your career.

Give this actionable nugget right at the end of your presentation. Then get ready to leave the stage or open to questions from the room.

Why do you want to keep this for the end?

The reason is simple. Your audience will have more chances of understanding your actionable to-do if they just absorbed the theory of your presentation.

You should have a clear sequence in mind. Most important moment: the climax, the high point of your presentation. It marks the beginning of the end. But how to end?

First, provide a summary, not just dry bullet points. Take your audience flying above your topic. Then, give them a gift. Something actionable that will cement your presentation in their memory.

That’s how your presentation and your ideas will live forever.

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  • I like your emphasis on an actionable takeaway. If it’s something people use often, they’ll certainly remember.

    As Andrew Abela said “If you’re trying to solve a problem for them, then whatever
    you give them is going to be interesting to them.” Being actionable suggests it’s solving a problem – making their lives easier. And if it’s interesting to them, they’re much more likely to remember.

    You might also like these 12+ ways to make your talk memorable. (Comments always welcome!)

    • Thanks for your thoughts Craig. I appreciated your very structured and hierarchical blog post!