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Guila Muir

Developing trainers, presenters and facilitators to make a difference

3 Rules for Excellent Presentations

I was excited to find John Medina’s great book, Brain Rules, in the San Francisco airport bookstore in 2009. The book is incredibly readable and valuable to trainers and presenters. I was thrilled most of all to see that Medina provides research to support 3 rules I’ve shared in my Train the Trainer classes for years.

1. Provide the gist, the core concept, first.

Verbalize and show your session’s purpose within the first few minutes of your presentation or training. Medina claims that you will see a 40% improvement in understanding if you provide general concepts first.

2. Give an overview of the class at the beginning, and sprinkle liberal repetitions of ‘where we are now’ throughout.

Provide clear transitions and summaries throughout your session. Clearly and repetitively explain linkages.

3. Bait the hook.

Every ten minutes, Medina gives his audiences a break from the firehose of information by sending “emotionally competent stimuli” (yet another word for ‘hook.’) A hook can be a surprising fact, anecdote, or question, and must must trigger an emotion: anxiety, laughter, nostalgia, etc. It must also be relevant. Use hooks at the beginning of each module.

Research suggests that by using these skills, you will prevent your audiences from “checking out” during your presentation.  Not only that, but these 3 tips will enable  you to enjoy presenting more. Have fun!

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© Guila Muir.

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