Most conference speakers give very informative lectures. The problem is that people do not learn very well from lectures. In fact, studies show that one only retains about 5% of what you hear in a lecture.
- 5% of what we hear
- 10% of what we read
- 20% of what we hear and read at the same time
- 30% of what is demonstrated to us
- 50% when we engage in discussion during learning
- 75% when we start to apply the new information to our own circumstance
- 90% when we teach others the new information we learn
If a speaker lectures using a PowerPoint presentation, we can probably remember 20% of the information.
Is 20% good enough? In an average 50 minute presentation, you’ll remember 10 minutes worth of information … although the thoughts might not be cohesive.
For increased understanding, presenters should help the audience to internalize the new information; think about how that information fits into their workplace, professional interactions, and services they provide.
For optimal retention, present bits of information and ask the audience to turn to the person sitting near them and explain what they heard.
Questions to Ponder:
- If you are a Presenter, what level of retention are you aiming for in your audience?
- What are you doing to achieve that level of retention?
- What could you do to increase the level of retention?