Getting and keeping your audience's attention is always a challenge. Even more challenging is increasing the learning and retention of your content. Brain Rules author John Medina, Ph.D. devotes considerable time to describing how retention is enhanced when content is delivered in a way that engages several human senses at the same time.
Touch is one of our five senses. Yet with all the concerns about appropriate behavior in business settings, it may seem that bringing touch into a business presentation would not be wise.
I believe that touch should be thought of more as movement and action than as simply putting a hand on someone else. When you think of touch as physical movement you can use these two techniques immediately without fear or discomfort:
1) Raising their hands: Something as simple as giving the audience a reason to raise their hands would help stimulate their sense of touch/movement. Ask a series of three questions that you expect most of the audience could respond to with raised hands. Show them you expect them to hold their hands high by doing it yourself as you ask the first question.
This is a great example of multisensory stimulation because while they are raising their hands They are also watching you (vision) and listening (hearing).
2) Writing: Include a couple of opportunities for the audience to write things down and force the issue by providing them with a hard copy of the exercise. Some examples: solve a puzzle, fill in the blanks or several sentences, make a list they have to share with the person next to them. Near the end of your presentation, have them grab a pen and write down one thing they are going to when they leave.
Your goal is get the majority to actively move, so don't give up because there will be some who refuse. There is always a small percentage of listeners who don't participate. That's their choice.
Focus on the large majority who will participate and give them multisensory stimulation to help them learn and retain the learning.
What techniques do you include in your speeches and presentations to give the audience multisensory integration? Share your ideas through our comment link below.