How to Ensure Your Audience Retains Information

June 4, 2015

Outside of the logistics of event planning, creating an event that is actually interesting and informational can be difficult. The goal, of course, is to ensure your audience walks away having learned something, and most importantly, retained what they’ve learned. Presenters, along with teachers, have faced this dilemma many times. So, we’ve decided to provide you with some tips on how to ensure your audience retains information, allowing you to create a stellar event which will stretch much farther!

To begin, let’s look at some numbers. In terms of retention percentages of learners, it’s been shown that:

– 90% of information is retained when they teach someone else or use what they’ve learned immediately

– 75% of information is retained when they practice what they’ve been taught

– 50% of information is retained when they engage in a group discussion

– 30% of information is retained when they see a demonstration

– 10% of information is retained when they’ve learned from reading

– 5% of information is retained when they’ve learned from a lecture

Woman speaking at eventThis information is very interesting in terms of helping you determine your presentation style and level of interaction between attendees. If you were thinking along the lines of a typical classroom lecture style, you may want to reconsider. Events where ice breakers, group participation, and idea generation are implemented tend to see a higher overall satisfaction rate amongst attendees. Not only for the fun they have during the activity, but for the takeaways they receive as well.

The reason why 90% of information is retained when someone teaches the content or immediately uses it is because they make mistakes. They may forget a number or slip up on information. While this can be embarrassing, the person must correct the mistake, helping the information stay in their brain. In lecture style, while you may be concentrating, there is no active participation, meaning the brain doesn’t make any mistakes. With no mistakes being made, the information can easily be lost.

Additionally, our brains often get stuck on the first new concept or obstacle we come across, making it difficult to retain or focus on subsequent information.

People having a meetingArmed with this information, you should now implement this into your upcoming presentation, ensuring that your audience retains information. Steer away from the classic boardroom setting, where you simply speak to your audience, and consider interactive ideas. With every new concept presented, you can have pre-set groups or tables that can do mini-presentations with each other. Alternatively, you could also ask groups to brainstorm creative ideas and have them present their plan to the entire room.

Think about yourself and the events you have attended. Which ones stand out in your mind, and what do you remember the most about what you learned? With these things in mind, tailor your own event to how it fits your company, and from there, plan interactive and group activities that will generate discussion, and as a result, information retention.

Ensuring your audience retains information is a topic you no longer need to be wary of – by following this guide your attendees will leave your event feeling educated and satisfied! Contact us for more help improving engagement and enhancing information retention at your next event!