The goldfish gets a bad rep for its limited attention span. However, it seems humans have now taken the household pet's dubious crown. Microsoft Canada research suggests our focus has dropped to a mere eight seconds, a 50 per cent decrease on averages in 2000.
Biologist John Medina at the University of Washington School of Medicine backs this: ''before the first quarter-hour is over in a typical presentation of moderately interesting content, people usually have checked out," says Medina.
This is nightmare news for people trying to deliver a killer presentation. How can you add a layer of flourish to keep your audience engaged? Presentations are a visual medium first and foremost, so adding visual appeal is crucial.
Presentations are visual
Presentations should show, not tell. Spice up your presentations with these quick fixes:
- Open up. Body language communicates more than we realise, and not using it properly will send your audience to sleep faster than any dull content. Use hand gestures and maintain eye contact to keep your audience fixed.
- Breaking the monotony of your presentation is key to resetting attention spans. Get the audience involved by asking questions, use other speakers to give another area of focus and add relevant and professionally produced videos to help communicate your message.
- Your slides should be a visual aid, not a script. Keep words to a minimum and include high-quality graphics to keep your audience focused.
Motion graphics allow you to deliver a presentation that is all about showing, not telling.
Poetry in motion: the benefits of motion graphics
But the tips above can only take you so far – to take your presentation from suitable to unmissable, you need to consider the visual power and poetry of motion graphics.
This is about adding movement to designs to give them greater visual impact. They are great for transmitting otherwise bland information or statistics, and can provide your presentation with the killer edge it needs to grab your audience's attention and keep it.
These graphics are excellent for communicating complex ideas too, meaning explaining your business' service or the details of a new product can be done in a few quick seconds. By adding motion graphics, you also make it easier for different kinds of learners to absorb information. Visual learners will take something out of the images and videos, while auditory learners can still focus on your voice – boosting your audience's information intake.
Finally, motion graphics are memorable. It's not just our attention span that is limited – the Atkinson-Shiffrin model says short term memory lasts between 15-30 seconds, with a capacity for about 7 items at once. Using professional motion graphics, you can create a more immersive experience with video, words, music and light to deliver a presentation that appeals to all the senses and truly sticks in the mind of your audience.
Working with event experts
CMS Australasia is home to a dedicated team of designers, creatives and visual experts who can help you create killer presentations that keep your audience hooked on your every word. Working with you, we start by mapping out your project, talking about the main points you want to deliver on. We then help you create engaging content, design 3D animation segments and use video to make your next presentation one to remember!
We can also help with staging setup and disassembly and video production to give your presentation that extra wow factor to truly deliver a knockout blow.
For more information on making your next presentation a knockout, contact the CMS Australasia team today for a proposal.