More than in other careers, marketing professionals have to stay current in research and ideas. They may hear scores of new information every day, and as a presenter, you need to stand out.
You have to create a marketing presentation that’s both helpful and memorable at the same time.
In this article, you’ll learn 5 science-backed ways to improve your marketing presentation so that it will stick in your audience’s mind.
Here’s How You Remember Ideas
Have you ever wondered how your mind remembers things? Most people just let the process happen, but understanding some basics can help you as a presenter.
Let’s define a few terms:
Memory is your mind’s ability to store information.
Short-term memory is a type of memory that holds a small amount of information for a short period of time. Its purpose is to let you use information soon after learning it.
Long-term memory is a type of memory that holds an indefinite amount of information and can be remembered months or years later.
First, your brain is always taking in new information via the senses. It keeps much of this information in short-term memory, where it may or may not store it for later.
To store information long-term, your mind needs to assign a level of importance to it. Learning information with variety or with repetition will help you remember it.
One research article (linked below) puts it this way:
"If you get one or two emails from someone during a busy day, you might forget to respond. However, if you get emails every day or every few days from this person, your mind will give more importance to the emails. What does this person have to say?"
The repetition of the emails exposes you to the same information more than once. As a result, you will more likely remember to act on the information.
If you’d like to dive into a more scientific explanation of memory, take a look at this article by Texas A&M University.
Start with the Familiar
Now that you understand the basics behind memory, you can start using them to prepare your marketing presentation. The first way you can make your ideas more memorable is to introduce new information alongside the familiar.
According to The Memory Institute, one of the ways people create new memories is by assigning relevance and meaning to them. Having a topic or story that your audience can relate to will help them see how they can use your ideas.
So if you specialize in product sales, you may not remember a presentation about social media strategy. Likewise, if you’re hearing new information that is highly technical, you may need something familiar to anchor that information.
When creating your presentation, think about the audience you will have in the room. Does everyone work in the same area, or are there many departments attending? What subjects are common to everyone? Can you weave these into your presentation?
Understand that you can relate new information to a familiar, non-business topic too. For example, you could compare content marketing to a dating relationship and explain your ideas in this context. Everyone in the room will relate because most people are at least familiar with how dating relationships work.
Inspire Positive Emotions
Another way to help your audience remember information is to inspire positive emotions. In her book Impossible to Ignore, Dr. Carmen Simon talks about how people gravitate toward rewards and away from punishments.
Reward refers to a profit or prize given in exchange for an effort or action.
Punishment refers to a penalty or suffering a person receives for an effort or action.
Dr. Simon also mentions how emotions play into these rewards and punishments. For instance, if a team member knows they will relieve stress by implementing your ideas, they will more likely remember them. You can even point out in your presentation how stress-relieving your ideas will be.
You can also use positive emotions through praise, inspiration, or humor. When you use these, your audience will feel good after listening to you.
Then, in the future, they will see your marketing presentations as a rewarding experience.
Keep the Message Short and Simple
Then, you should keep your main message short and simple. You can’t treat your marketing presentation like a college history class.
A class might be filled with many facts and ideas that all have importance and emphasis. However, this audience would be studying the information in detail to recall it later on a test or exam.
Instead, be reasonable about the amount of information your audience can easily remember without studying it. Do you want them to remember specific steps? Or will it suffice for them to know where to get more information?
For example, you may be presenting a complex marketing strategy that you have also written into individual job descriptions. In this case, you can introduce the main ideas briefly but then stress where team members can find their job description after the meeting.
On the other hand, maybe you do want the audience to remember specific steps. In this case, you should limit the number of steps as much as possible. Then, repeat them often throughout your presentation.
If you can’t make the steps short and simple, consider a separate training session in which team members can learn the information interactively.
Your goal is always to help people remember your ideas, and you should go to great lengths to achieve that goal.
Think About Memory Cues
Next, you can help your audience remember by adding cues they will see later on. Similar to the idea of familiarity above, your audience will remember to act on your ideas when they see something familiar that reminds them.
Advertisers use this tactic all the time. For example, a grocery store that’s promoting their reusable grocery bags might place a sign in the parking lot, reminding customers to bring their bags inside. The sign is a cue to reinforce other promotions the store has already given.
You can use memory cues by thinking through what your audience will see after your meeting. Will they be accessing new software on their computers? Then, you should show a screenshot of a computer with the software installed.
From there, you can walk through where to access the software and how to use it. The point here is that you should show them exactly what they’ll be seeing when they walk out of the room.
In another example, you might be suggesting that the sales team include an extra question about signing up for the company’s newsletter. You could either post a reminder about the new question on their computer or phone, or you could include a prompt in the paperwork they might use during a sales call.
All of these are great examples of using memory cues for your audience. However, there are many ways to achieve this idea—you can use your creativity here.
Use a Variety of Senses
Last, you can make your marketing presentation memorable by using a variety of senses.
When you take in an idea, your mind starts turning that idea into a memory. If you then take in the same idea through another sense—sight, sound, touch, smell, taste—your mind will connect that sensory idea to the previous one.
You can easily use several senses in your presentation. For instance, you might add a sound clip or video. In some cases, you might be able to bring in a fragrant or tasty object to illustrate a point.
Be careful to add to the senses in a way that’s different from the norm. You’re already speaking during your presentation; so you wouldn’t choose a video of someone presenting ideas in a meeting. Instead, choose a story, commercial, or movie trailer (for humor) as your video clip.
Summary: How to Make a Memorable Marketing Presentation
Here’s how you remember ideas: To store information long-term, your mind needs to assign a level of importance to it.
Start with the familiar. Introduce your audience to new ideas alongside the familiar. Think about common subjects everyone in the audience will know.
Inspire positive emotions. A positive emotion will reward the audience for listening to or implementing your ideas.
Think about memory cues. People will more likely act on ideas later if they see something familiar that reminds them.
Keep the message short and simple. Be reasonable about how much information people can remember without studying it.
Use a variety of senses. Let the audience’s mind connect your ideas to sight, sound, touch, smell, or taste.