Respecting this rule is easy. Just focus your meetings and presentations on about three things.
What that looks like in practice:
- Start every meeting and presentation with a brief description of the three things you are going to cover. This advance organizer gets everyone ready for what is going to happen. It prepares people to attach new information to what they already know, which is crucial for memory.
- Focus the meeting on just those three items. Resist the urge to add new topics or to go off on tangents. If something new gets raised in a meeting, or if a new thought occurs to you while giving a presentation, decide whether it is urgent enough to add it immediately. If it isn’t, push it off until later.
- Review the three key points. Make sure that you remind everyone what it is you wanted them to remember.
I know that your first reaction is going to be to look at this advice and say it’s common sense, that you already believe it to be true, and that you have heard it before. But the real question is: Do you do it?