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Be a Water Fountain, Not a Fire Hose | Public Speaking

The human brain is wired not to guzzle new information in an onslaught, but to digest it in modest sips. Memory studies show that most people can retain only a few “chunks” of information at a time—as few as three or four—and information that doesn’t get richly encoded at the time of exposure often disappears within seconds, never making the critical journey to long-term storage.

If our goal is to shine a light on the points that matter most, we must strip away those that don’t. Here are a few ideas about how to do that most effectively.