Grab Attention- Use the Primacy Effect to your advantage!

You’ve got the goods!

Ya did it! Ya created a great (Note: I did not say amazing) presentation. You did your research. You started the process on paper (and not directly in PowerPoint). You built it into a great story. Added some relevant images that enhance the preso. You have been practicing your delivery.

But wait!

Did you create any drama in the beginning of your presentation?

Is the beginning of your presentation going to stimulate and jolt your audience into alertness like a triple tall Caffe Mocha?

Two minutes into your presentation, is the audience glued to your voice and the screen like a toddler hypnotized by the purple dino?

If you answered yes to the questions, you do not need to read the rest of this post. Go look at some cute kittens instead.

I take it that you have decided to stay and learn something new today. Congratulations! You have chosen wisely.

The Primacy Effect















Hermann Ebbinghaus - Source:Wikipedia














This was definitely an Amazing guy!

Long long ago in the late 1800s, Hermann was a German psychologist who pioneered the study of memory. This awesome guy is the one that first described the “Learning Curve” . Remember, that is the phrase you use as an excuse when you are not able to do something. “Jennifer is doing well. A bit slow, but she is going through her learning curve.”
“Boss, you know me. I try hard to do the best job I can all the time. I am just going through this “Learning Curve” in regards to getting TPS reports turned in on time.” Yeah, That learning curve.

So another very important discovery Herr Ebbinghaus made was that you remember best what is said at the beginning of learning anything. This my friends, is called the “Primacy Effect”.

Garr Reynolds the founding father of Presentation design(according to a lot of people) says this about the Primacy Effect.

The primacy effect, when applied to presentations, suggests that we remember more strongly what happens at the beginning of a presentation. A punchy opening that gets the audience’s attention is paramount.

So to illustrate my point, I created this presentation that helps you to understand why it is important to “Grab Attention”


Here it is. Hope it helps you to understand better why to start your presentation off with a Bang! There are references in this presentation that you may want to know more about. Remember the book, “Go, Put your strengths to work“? Mr. Buckingham wrote that. Amazing speaker. Watch a presentation I reference about Parenting, Here.


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