Have you ever lost participants’ attention during a training session – or do they struggle to remember key points of learning when they leave the training session?
Let’s see how you can grab their attention or help them remember what you have said.
Many years ago I read about the Von Restorff Effect and, as usual, I tried to relate the theory to my delivery as a trainer. In 1933 Hedwig von Restorff, a leading German psychologist felt that something that was isolated or different to the surrounding stood out. If information was presented in an isolated way people would remember the information that stood out.
For example, glance very quickly at the list below and see if you can recall all items. I am sure you will recall one far quicker than the others.
Did you recall the blue text first?
Use the same principle of isolation when you want people to remember a particular fact or piece of information. A presentation slide that shows a bulleted list should include a single item shown in a different colour, font size, bold or set aside. You might even animate the movement onto the slide.
As you describe each bulleted item when you get to the memorable item add some movement away from the podium, across the stage, move into the group or use your hands. This will help the audience remember that key fact. Of course, use the Isolation Effect with care so as not to isolate every piece of information!
You can take a similar approach with presentation slides to help grab attention, especially during a lengthy slideshow. Add a slide that is completely different at a point you want to jolt the audience’s attention. The image could be humorous or shocking (within reason) but does need to cover the entire slide. If, at the same time you stop talking the combined effect can be enough to make the participants look and listen more purposefully.
As a trainer, you have added something interesting to your delivery and that’s important – and memorable.
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