Mnemonic devices: Making sure your presentation’s memorable

For an audience to recall what you said, they first must remember you. The best presentation is one that your audience can vividly remember in days, months and years to come.

When preparing for your presentation, most of us tend to focus on achieving the immediate results at the expense of long-term milestones. Powerful and memorable messaging, however, can be achieved through the use of mnemonic devices. Mnemonic devices are techniques used by the presenter to help the audience remember the information they are telling them.

The use of mnemonics has become an important part of the modern day marketing arsenal. The main practices include the use of acronyms, logo’s, phrases, rhymes, images, diagrams and other visual aids; all of which help the audience recall important points.

Presentations can come with a wide variety of data such as figures, facts, names, dates and terminologies, which are all difficult to recall. As such, it is up to you to get creative and make your facts more memorable.

What value will mnemonic devices add to your presentation?

Information-heavy presentations can often be forgotten within short periods of time if the presenter is not displaying the information in an accessible way. Therefore, by using mnemonics such as acronyms to simplify complicated phrases or ideas, audiences will be able to recall the information at a later date.

An example of the power of an acronym can be found in ‘R.S.V.P’, which is derived from the French phrase: ‘Répondez s’il vous plait’ meaning ‘Reply please’. Whilst most people wouldn’t be able to tell you what the literal translation is, the acronym allows us to understand the idea behind it and know that if I write it, the person will get back to me to let me know if they’re attending. Simple and effective.

4 tips for working with mnemonic devices

1.Choose mnemonic aids that are easy to remember

The best way to benefit from mnemonic devices in your presentation is to choose familiar representations that will capture your audience attention. For example, a rhyming mnemonic such as ‘i before e, except after c’ is an easy way to grasp a large concept.

2.Use mnemonics in your presentation as much as possible

Once you have your mnemonic aids in place, try to place a lot of emphasis on them. You can also keep referring to them from time to time to ensure they stick in the minds of your audience.

3.Choose an active presentation strategy

The impact of mnemonics will be greater if you choose to have an active presentation that lets you audience participate in the session as opposed to passive stage presence where the audience is only left to listen.

4.Be creative and incorporate humor and suspense

Since mnemonic devices are an excellent way of boosting audience engagement, you can use them to incorporate surprise, suspense and humor in your presentations. Doing this helps to store your content in the minds of your recipients for a longer period of time.