Presentation Psychology: Proven Strategies To Truly Connect With Your Audience
Table of Contents
Does Psychology Play A Role In Creating Effective Presentations?
Psychology plays a huge role in creating an effective presentation. Although you never probably thought about how psychology itself is incorporated into a presentation, you’ve probably come across psychological tips in other presentation articles such as how to be a better presenter.
Many of the presentation tips and tricks in these articles have roots in psychology.
For example, you might have been told before to really focus on your audience and understand who they are. That’s because everyone’s psyche is different.
If they are auditory learners, you would want to focus your attention on your public speaking skills, vocal pitch and the way you speak. You may also want to consider how your speech is coming across.
Is it clear and slow-paced so the audience is able to absorb all the information? On the other hand, you may be speaking too fast and the audience’s attention is fragmented due to information overload.
If they are visual learners, you might want to incorporate a lot of images or a video to help present new ideas or information.
Learning styles is only one aspect of how presentations incorporate psychology. Learning styles may help you understand how people absorb information because this is how they learn but there are other aspects to consider.
You may want to research and explore what arouses people, what motivates them such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and what people may avoid due to fear or past trauma.
7 Psychology-Proven Presentation Tricks
Now that we know for certain psychology plays a role in creating effective powerpoint presentations, we’ve put together 7 research backed tips on how to enhance your upcoming presentation.
1 – Build A Structure
The human brain loves structure.
Whether you realize it or not, our brains try to structure all the little points and details of the world to help us better understand it. Structure allows us to take the big picture and divide it up into smaller, more manageable pieces. This same concept applies to presentations as well.
When a presentation is structured, your audience will be able to retain the information 40% more reliably and accurately compared to if your presentation was more free thought. If you’re able to help give your audience a clear structure, you will reduce the cognitive load required by them to remember key points.
If your presentation is easier for them to remember, then they will more likely consider it to be a good presentation.
2 – Apply The Rule Of Three
You’ve probably heard of the rule of three in writing.
Most writing professionals and writing courses teach you to write using the rule of three in order to create a memorable piece of content.
The premise of the rule of three stems off the first tip mentioned above which is that our brains love structure, organization and patterns.
If information or ideas can be structured in buckets of three, it will make for it to be easily recalled. Information that is easily remembered will leave a longer lasting impact on your audience.
You can use the rule of three to your advantage in your presentation by coupling the important points into three categories. If you feel like you need to mention more information, reconsider.
Make a list of all the main points you want your audience to remember and try to group them into three buckets. If you can’t, then the outliers must not be relevant enough for your presentation and you may need to consider breaking it up into smaller, more digestible presentations.
3 – Change Every 10 Minutes
If you have a presentation the audience is genuinely interested in, the typical audience attention span is between seven to ten minutes.
Using the two tips mentioned above, you should be able to condense your three points into a ten minute presentation.
If you go over ten minutes, you’ll begin to lose the attention of your audience before you even reach the final slide. If you must go over ten minutes, try changing things up a bit.
Whether it’s the content of your presentation or delivery method, be sure to add lots of changes in it to keep it lively.
4 – Use Emphasizing Visual Communication
Now that you know what the main idea of your presentation is and have condensed it in an organized structure with no more than three topics, you can begin enhancing your presentation with visuals.
Visual cues such as graphs, charts and tables are great tools to deliver complex information in a more digestible way.
If creating visuals isn’t your thing, don’t let that stop you from creating effective presentations.
Instead, consider outsourcing your presentation design.
Luckily, there are presentation design services which can help you not only develop amazing presentations, but also develop other visual cues such as sizzle reels.
Many presenters tend to use overused presentation templates that students and other presenters have used a million times over. The effectiveness of these templates have been diluted to almost nothing.
Whether you’re a manager of a Fortune 500 needing to present financials or a psychology professor needing to put together a psychology presentation on mental disorders and mental health, Presentation Geeks have serviced multiple industries to support their presentation needs.
5 – Use Impactful Headlines
One of the first things people notice when reading something is the headline.
It takes less than seven seconds for someone to make a first impression and within that first seven seconds, they’re reading your headline.
Whether it’s the beginning slide or another single slide to follow throughout the presentation, headlines are critical.
Make sure your headlines aren’t an overload of information. In this case, less is more. Make it concise and impactful.
6 – Don’t Read The Slides
Reading from the slides is one guaranteed way to lose your audience’s attention.
If you want your audience to feel engaged, you need to engage them. One way to engage your audience is to talk to them directly. Pretend you are having a conversation with the audience.
By not reading the slides, you are instead engaging with your audience by using eye contact, facial expressions and different types of body language to help bring across the most important points of your presentation.
If you struggle with reading the slides, try forcing yourself to not read them. You can force yourself to not read the slides by minimizing the content you are reading.
Try using bullet points.
Bullet points are great because they force you to remember the filler content you need to speak to while also providing a more appealing structure to your slides. No one wants to read a giant wall of text. Don’t forget, this is where you use visuals to help communicate what you’re trying to get across instead of relying only on words.
7 – Share A Story
The best and most practical tip to use when crafting a presentation is to structure it in the form of a story.
As humans, we are social creatures and we love to hear stories.
In fact, stories are much more than just fables to tell for entertainment purposes. They play a huge role in our cognitive, social and emotional development.
Telling a story, especially one the audience can relate to, helps put them in your shoes. By providing an example they’re familiar with, they can begin to connect emotions with your presentation.
A perfect example of this is if you are trying to elicit the emotion of happiness. You may begin to tell a story of playing with friends, laughing or receiving a gift you really wanted. All of which are events most people can relate to.
By connecting these shared life experiences to your presentation, it will emphasize the main point you are trying to bring across through the power of emotions.
Conclusion Of Key Points: Tapping Into The Human Brain With Presentation Psychology
If you feel like your presentation is a bad presentation, consider implementing some known psychological tips.
Build a structure
Apply the rule of three
Change things up every 10 minutes
Use impactful headlines
Don’t read the slides
Use the art of storytelling
Implement and use our suggestions to create an engaging presentation backed by psychological data.