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The Leader's Guide to Presenting by Jeremy Cassell, Tom Bird

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Chapter 9

Creating impactful starts

There is a very well-researched psychological concept called the ‘serial position effect’ which great presenters know about and utilise to help make their presentations more memorable and impactful. The two important components of the serial position effect that impact presenters are the primacy and recency effect which explain that, when asked to recall information, people are more likely to recall things said at the beginning and at the end of a presentation than things said in the middle.

Information is more likely to be stored, and later recalled, from our long-term memory if we have more time to process it and identify what meaning it has for us. This is easier to do at the start of a presentation ...

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