Master Your Message Blog

Why Repetition is So Important in Persuasive Presentations

If you want your audience to remember something, say it again … and again … and again.

Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous speech of March 28, 1863 stays with us today … at least the title does … “I Have A Dream.” Now, how many times did he say that line?
 Right … Eight! Eight times with intervals in between. Smart.

Speaking of smart: They’ve done experiments with students studying for tests. They had one group cram the night before and another group was shown the information in spaced intervals over a longer period of time. Who did better on the test?*

Right! Not the crammers. In fact, they did way worse.

Here’s the key. We learn the best when information is introduced in greater depth each time, in fixed, spaced intervals.

Jam it in all at once … we don’t remember it. Repeat it several times with space in between … bingo.

Two more things before I let you go. One. Your entire presentation should be about one thing – the theme . . . but repeat it over and over and over again. Because by the fifth mention, it will have sunk in.

Two. Don’t cram too much information into your speech. Make it simple. Because the brain can only hold so much at one time.

Want to be memorable? One major theme. Over and over again. Or nobody will remember it … and nothing will happen.

* This example comes from Brain Rules by John Medina.

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