How To Increase Memory Retention at Corporate Events

We’ve all attended boring corporate events. You know the kind - endless presentations, not enough breaks, where you walk out tired and less excited than ever before. The worst of it is science tells us a boring day yields little lasting impact. So how do you overcome this common challenge and create a lasting impact on your attendees?  Here are four easy techniques you can add to your meeting agenda today that are scientifically proven to increase comprehension. Start Moving and Stretching According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise helps your mind—memory in particular. A Los Angeles Times article points to a growing number of studies that illustrate how “movement appears to enhance memory, learning, attention, decision-making and multitasking, among other mental functions.” Exercise increases oxygen flow to the brain, spurs new cell growth and boosts your supply of neurotransmitting chemicals—making you awake and attentive. Even basic yoga poses can alter the room’s energy. When we stretch, we lengthen some muscles while relaxing others. The brain in turn regulates automatic functions such as heart rate and blood pressure. It releases hormones, which act as chemical messengers to regulate insulin control, metabolism, mood and emotion. Because exercise reduces stress, it can in turn improve cognitive ability. Consider adding a light mid-day yoga session to your event, or even a simple seating stretch break between speakers. Use Visuals – Omit Words Sixty-five percent of people are visual learners, according to the Social Science Research Network. And, we process images 60,000x faster than words. For example… Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 4.00.15 PM You saw the circle much faster than you read "Circle." This natural increased comprehension has led to the increased use of visualized information
  • 400% in literature since 1990
  • 9900% percent on the Internet since 2007
  • 142% percent in newspapers since 1994
Visuals help combat information overload – because data needs to be put in context, and images help connect the brain to the emotion behind the information. Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 3.56.12 PM (It’s a left brain/right brain thing: [Photo credit: Seth Godin, http://bit.ly/1jJarFf.]) Our memories are volatile, and our brains like to gather information in the form of a story. Consider requiring picture only slides for all of your presenters. Additionally, present the future path for your company as the natural conclusion of an already half written story. Create a Story to Improve Memory Recall By seeing or doing something, your audience is over 80 percent more likely to remember after they leave the event. (Rusted and Coltheart, 1979.) When you combine activities that require movement, talking and listening, it activates multiple areas of the brain. The more areas of the brain you stimulate, the faster your audience understands and remembers. So keep your audience moving. A recent report in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology showed even people who doodle during meetings have better memory recall. Schedule group breakout sessions or projects in your agenda, this will increase interactivity and engage more of the brain. Lastly, Persuade Your Audience (Subconsciously) According to a study by the Wharton School of Business, 50 percent of the audience was persuaded by a verbal-only presentation, while 67 percent were persuaded by a verbal presentation that had accompanying visuals. If your ideas of getting participants in tree pose and crafting presentation slides with no more than six words per slide are seeing internal pushback – have no fear. In the end it will be good for participants’ brains and help them remember what you presented. Learning requires effortful recall, and recall is dramatically improved when the brain is stimulated. Interested in planning your next event? Contact us below!