What do you remember from your school days?
Algebra? History? French?
Or do you remember special occasions or events? I remember a teacher shouting ‘Out damned spot!’ when a dog entered the classroom. We were studying Macbeth. Shame it wasn’t on the final exam as I will never forget the occasion. I don’t remember much about Macbeth.
Facts can be very hard to remember unless they are emotionally tagged.
For example, the date of 11th September.
When you are speaking to an audience and need them to remember something, you must tag the information so they can retrieve it from their very large storehouse. Imagine trying to find a single manila folder in a filing cabinet without a filing tag. A bright red one would help.
So, how to add emotional tags?
First present the information. The message they need to remember. Immediately reinforce this message with an example, story, picture, comparison. Say ‘for example….’ Finally, ask them to do something with the information. ‘As soon as you get back to your workplace, I want you to…….’
Let me give you an example.
Let’s say you want to speak about occupational health and safety in the office environment. You want to ask people to be aware of making the office more safe. Instead of listing the possible risks and likely boring people, you could start with a question like…
‘What is the most dangerous animal in Australia?’ Make some suggestions to get started. Crocs? Sharks? Snakes? Pause and tell them the answer. The most dangerous animal in Australia is….the horse. There are, on average, twenty deaths each year caused by horses or people falling from horses. The crocs and sharks don’t come close.
You could now ask what is the greatest cause of accidents in the office. People will be wary and look for something unlikely like… the horse. It could be awkward lifting or back strain from poor posture. It won’t be something obvious like a shark. It will be more like a horse.
You could finish with ‘ I want you to help me identify the horses in the office.’ The unlikely risks that we take that lead to accidents.
If you are looking for help to design and deliver a presentation or improve your public speaking ability or confidence, I can assist with Public Speaking Training.
Contact me on 03 9808 8990. I also have a CD available to help called ‘Boring to Soaring’. You can purchase if from my website at www.paddyspruce.com.au It will help with emotional tags.
Paddy Spruce CSP