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Drill home your key points

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

You’re leading a staff meeting and you want to convey some important facts. Here’s how to ensure they sink in:

Filter your information. Studies show that most audience members will remember as little as 10 percent of a presentation, and the most stirring speakers can increase retention to only as much as 50 percent. That means even if you’re spellbinding, half of what you say will fade away.

Solution: Decide in advance the 10 percent of your material that’s most vital. Then emphasize it during the speech and reinforce it in a slide or handout.

Select “mystery words.” Before the speech, write three words on a flip chart. This will arouse the audience’s curiosity. Explain in your introduction that each word represents an important idea; then organize your presentation around removing the mystery.

Example: You write “return, respond, restart.” During your speech, you explain that “persistency rates” must improve so that clients return year after year, you want employees to respond to customer concerns more aggressively, and you’d like everyone to restart his outreach by developing new leads.

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