Feb 16, 2019

How to end a presentation? Tips from Daniel Kahneman (Post 3 of 30)

Daniel Kahneman is a Nobel Laureate and a renowned figure in the field of behavioural psychology. In his classic book, Thinking Fast and Slow he has shared insights about how humans think and act and the predictable mistakes we tend to make. He has one great tip to offer to you as a presenter.

Your audience, as per Daniel Kahneman, has two selves

  1. The Experiencing Self, and
  2. The Remembering Self
The experiencing self lives in the moment and answers the question, "How is the presentation now?" Whereas the remembering self answers the question, "How was the presentation, overall?"

Now the psychological insight is - Our memory is controlled by our remembering self. The duration of the presentation is neglected. What matters is how we remember the overall experience of your presentation.

The two things that affect this are:

  1. How did the presentation end?
  2. How were the peak moments in the presentation?
As per Daniel Kahneman, the way your presentation ends matters a lot. A great presentation which ends badly will forever remain a 'bad presentation' for your audience. Think about bad movies for a moment. If a movie ends badly, even if the rest of it was good, will be treated by you as a bad movie. The reality is, not everything was that bad. Or think about a vacation. It might have ended very badly but the entire vacation was great. How do you feel about the vacation today?

As a presenter, it is important to start well but it is more important to end well. A presentation which ends badly will always be remembered as a totally bad presentation by your audience. So plan your ending. End on a high. 

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