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We’re always searching for new ways to be memorable when delivering presentations. We came across an article by Annie Murphy Paul in the NY Times called “How to Think Outside Your Brain.” Paul says that every brain has a finite capacity to absorb information. Accepting that, one has to employ extraneural resources to activate the attentional area of the brain and be remembered by your audience.

What are extraneural resources? One is the actual space around you. Put up a whiteboard, use props or draw on a sketch pad. Ground your concepts in concrete terms for the brain to process. For example: an instructor explains torque by having students hold an axle with two bicycle wheels mounted on it. While the wheels are spinning, the axle is rotated from horizontal to vertical. The twisting force that causes rotation is torque. When constructing your next talk, find equally creative ways to implement props, sketches or inventive PowerPoint slides.

When you use visual snapshots, you stimulate the brain to comprehend far more than it could with just data. The brain also thrives on variety. Analogies are the brain’s shorthand for recalling concepts and ideas. So, consider analogies, metaphors or similes-- along with props and other visuals to be exceptionally memorable. Make your audience stretch to stay with you. It will entertain them and keep you and your talk top of mind.

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