PURPOSE – The Secret to High Impact Presenting

a woman presenting

The secret to high impact presenting is, PURPOSE.

The next time you are presenting at work, ask yourself what you want your audience to remember.

‘I want you to think back to the very last presentation you attended and tell me the one thing you remember from it’.

We ask that question during each of our presentation skills workshops.

Sadly, it’s extremely rare that any of the delegates say they remember anything of note

The most common response is: ‘not much’

The secret to high impact presenting is  PURPOSE

Primacy effect







Primacy Effect

The primacy effect is a cognitive bias and refers to an individual’s tendency to better remember the first piece of information they encounter than the information they receive later on.’

The way you open your presentation and what you say, show and do within the first 60 seconds is crucial.

Don’t make the mistake most presenters do and start with:

Good morning, my name is Ted Smith from ABC enterprise and I’m really pleased to be here’.

It’s rare that an audience will attend any form of presentation where they don’t know who is speaking and the company they work for.

You don’t really need to remind them

Make your first 60 seconds count


The reason many people don’t remember most business presentations is because they are largely very similar.

People remember things that are unusual and stand out

They remember things they don’t see or hear every day.

– Build in some drama, suspense or excitement.

– Use humour

– Gett your audience thinking.

– Use props, give them something to take away.

– Surprise them in some way


If you repeat your key message during your presentation it is more likely to be remembered.

We can all take a lesson from the great orator Winston Churchill:

“We shall fight them on the beaches, we shall fight them on the landing grounds, we shall fight them in the fields and streets; we shall never surrender.”

Too much repetition is of course simply irritating.

Intentional repetition must be conscious, meaningful and provide emphasis.


People will always remember something you say which has a personal meaning to them.

Make sure that everything you share with your audience is personal and relevant to them


Audiences remember those things that create an emotional connection with them.

No one wants to sit and listen to someone who sounds robotic and monotonous as she goes through the motions.

People want to see the real you

That means having the courage and being open enough to let them into your world.

Show them how you really see things and what makes you feel and believe the way you do.

Self-disclosure is another key secret of high impact presenting.


A presentation without stories is just a lecture.

Stories create enormous value because they help us understand and envision your message.

We get to see, feel and experience your message through the power of a great story.

A great story well told is the one thing that most of us will remember from a presentation.


The final but arguably, most important secret of high impact presenting is energy.

Energy and enthusiasm are infectious and your audience want both.

Give them everything you have.

If you’d like to learn more about the secret of high impact presenting:

– Book yourself onto a powerful public speaking course.

– Invest in some really good one to one public speaking coaching.

– Get yourself some excellent presentation training

Image: Courtesy of dreamstime.com


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