How memory operates is really something quite amazing. There is no “memory zone” in our brains. Bricks of memories are stored pretty much everywhere. These bricks are interconnected by neuronal connections that allow us to rebuild our memories. Thus, when we remember an event, not everything comes at once and we need time to rebuild everything we have stored. First we will remember what we felt, then we will reconstruct what our senses were able to capture: what we saw, heard, smelled and touched. We will then remember the place, the date and what we learned that day.
This process is complex and explains why we sometimes only have a partial picture of a memory, either because we are not able to find the connections, or because they were finally erased by time. When you create your presentations, it is essential to incorporate your message within an optimized structure to ensure the proper storage of you key points. The strategy is precisely to produce memory bricks in the most areas possible to facilitate the reconstruction of the memory. Here are the most interesting areas to solicit:
Emotion – This is the front door to our memories. Emotions are essential to anchor the learning process and thus facilitate recuperating the knowledge. The stronger the emotion, the easier it is to memorize it and remember it afterwards. It is fairly easy to establish an emotional climate during your presentations. Conveying emotion is also the first aim of the speaker. It could be an emergency, a danger, a disappointment, a joyful experience or an opportunity. You choose the one with which you are most comfortable with and which is most likely to impact your audience.
Multisensoriality – the more you solicit your senses the more you create memory bricks. This is why, as we have already explained, it is important to create a resonance with your key messages by using your presentation aides in particular. By showing your slides along with your remarks you will increase the access points to the future memory. The images and pictograms, when well chosen, also have a strong impact because they bring a symbolic dimension, which forces the brain to decipher and increases all the more the number of memory bricks that will be created.
Logic – To reconstruct a memory, the brains looks for all possible connections. The more these memory bricks will be linked by a consistent logical structure, the easier it will be to bring up the memory. The analytical layout, in parts and subparts, is often inefficient because it serves in particular the logic of the speaker who is searching for a way to organize his ideas. However, narrative structures are highly effective, precisely because they establish a logical link between all the information you will share. This is why it is very easy to remember a colleague’s totally useless anecdote, yet very complicated to remember the key messages of the last meeting you attended.