Countering the ‘Habituation Principle’ in Presentations

By Dave Zielinski

The principle of habituation means that audience brains begin to check out when the stimulus in front of them doesn’t change for extended periods. When they hear a monotone voice or see a relentless series of bullet slide after bullet slide, they start to tune out.

To counter habituation, change the nature of your presented material every seven to eight minutes. Use audience interaction, slip in a compelling photograph in place of a text slide, or introduce video clips, audio, personal stories, props or other messaging vehicles to change up the stimulus and keep your audience engaged and participative from opening to close.

One single approach almost always guarantees audience boredom and detachment, the death knell for any presenter.

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