The Brain Friendly Way to Engage Your Audience

Riveting presentations and sparkly graphics aren’t enough. To make sure your audience walks away with the lessons you want learned, it’s best to know how the brain naturally learns.

Let’s take a closer look at the most important organ in the human body. The throne of intelligence, the seat of the senses, the chair of behavior, and puppet master of movement, the masterful three-pound brain is roughly the size of an average cantaloupe. Contrary to its round and fluid physical properties, the brain naturally learns in a six-step sequential manner by creating constructs of knowledge. Think of the following as the brain’s learning timeline.

How to do it?

1. Motivation: A “have-to,” such as schoolwork, or a choice, such as a hobby or sport.

2. Practice: Trial and error, asking questions, rote memorization, and other methodologies.

3. Skillfulness: Confidence results from repeated practice.

4. Refinement: Improvement continues. Success and enjoyment from new knowledge.

5. Mastery: Pleasure derived and creativity heightened.

Science has mapped the learning process, and there’s a reason we use the metaphor “tree of knowledge.” Brain cells are neurons; each of us is born with about 100 billion of them. Dendrites (fibers, or think of them as twigs) grow out of the neurons, and new dendrites can grow only from an existing dendrite. So, similar to twigs growing on a tree, learning grows from previous knowledge and reaches higher and higher toward the sun.

Here’s the ultra-beauty of this: Learning is natural! The brain knows all of this just as it knows how to differentiate between the tastes of sweet and sour. Learning equals the growth of dendrites. It may take some dendrites longer than others to grow but with plenty of practice they will become masters of knowledge.

No need to be concerned with your audience’s ability to learn the lessons of your presentation. Their brains are hardwired to accomplish that. Be sure to motivate your audience to learn, allow them to practice, and they, and their brains, naturally will take care of the rest.

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