Repetition can help you anchor the key messages of your PowerPoint presentation with the audience

Presentations should be varied and exciting. Nevertheless, you need to repeat important messages during your presentation so that you can be sure that crucial facts are not overheard. This is related to the information intake of our brain . It is always looking for recognizable structures in order to better grasp content and store it in the long term.

The goal of all presentations is to successfully convey information. When you create a presentation, you need to be clear from the beginning about how you want to get your message across to your audience. No matter how professional your approach, it is clear from the start that the audience will not remember every word. If we want as much of our presentation to “stick” as possible, we have to use tricks to get our audience’s brains to remember information. One way to do this is to repeat information several times to help the audience absorb it. Unfortunately, our brain usually learns through repetition. Only rarely is a piece of information immediately stored in long-term memory. Therefore, repetition is important to help the brain absorb information.

The human brain is designed for peak performance. With our senses we can take in vast amounts of information without being aware of the amount of data. Every second  the conscious part of the brain processes about 2,000 bits of information. However, the subconscious part processes about 400 billion bits of information in the same amount of time

If we were to consciously store all the information, we would probably snap out of it. In this way, however, the brain immediately filters out information that appears unimportant. The unimportant parts are erased from memory instantly or after 10 to 20 seconds at the latest. Information that is repeated can signal to the brain that it is data with importance.

There are also a number of studies that show that repeating messages to people makes them more likely to believe them. All political systems of the last hundred years have used this mechanism for their own purposes. Information is then believed to be truer the more often it is heard. Messages that are heard often eventually sound familiar, and what sounds familiar to people is more persuasive than information heard for the first time.

What should be repeated?  

Of course, you cannot give your PowerPoint presentation several times in a row. So you need to think about which core messages are particularly important for the success of your presentation and what you want to convince your audience of.  
A convincing presentation 

should not contain more than three or four

 key messages


 For example, you could present your key messages to your audience right at the beginning of your talk, with the disclaimer that explanations will follow in the slide presentation. Another time, the key messages at the center of your event could be repeat, and at the end of the presentation they should be mentioned again in a summary.   

In your presentation, however, don’t take repetition to extremes. The lecture then quickly becomes dull, and the audience might start to suspect that you think your auditorium  is underexposed. As a rule, an important message should not be repeated more than three times. 
When a

 process of habituation and attrition

 sets in among viewers, the attention curve quickly drops dramatically.

So repetition is important to get key messages across, but it should be used judiciously.  

Portrait of Trainer Matthias Garten - Expert for Presentations and PowerPointDipl.-Wirtsch.-Informatiker Matthias Garten as the expert for multimedia presentations and professional PowerPoint presentations knows about the art of professional slide design. He is an entrepreneur, speaker (TOP 100 Speaker), trainer (TOP 100 Excellence Trainer), multiple book author, presentation coach (presentation training), member of the GSA and Club 55, organizer of the Presentation Conference, Presentation Bootcamp and Presentation Rocket Day. In addition to PowerPoint and presentation training, he inspires and advises companies to present themselves even more effectively and thus stand out from competitors. He is the business owner of the presentation and PowerPoint agency smavicon Best Business Presentations and with his team has created over 15,000 professional PowerPoint presentations for over 150 industries since 1993.