Blackadder, BEM and You

Posted on Nov 14

Edmund Blackadder, in all his guises, is one of my all time favourite characters and I find it difficult to decide which series I like the best.

Everyone seems to have their favourite and whether it is the Elizabethan nobleman, or the Regency butler or the world weary First World War captain all are brilliant examples of how to use cutting one-liners that get to the essence of a situation.

I often quote Blackadder in my trainings and here’s one that you might want to think about……

“It started badly, it tailed off in the middle and the less said about the end the better” Edmund Blackadder.

Could this be said about your presentations?

What you do, or don’t do, at the beginning and ending of your “presentation” can have a significant effect on its success. It’s what you will be remembered for!

So what does BEM stand for?

BEM stands for:




What most people don’t realise is that when information is presented it is remembered in the BEM sequence.  We tend to recall more information from the beginning and end of a meeting, conversation or presentation than in the middle.

In other words the audience remembers the beginning of your “presentation” more than the end, which is remembered better than the middle. This also applies to written submissions too.

Research suggests that this is because of an attentional bias which exists at the beginning and end. The novelty factor at the beginning and the emotional release of the ending cause chemical changes in the brain which “tag” the information and make it more memorable.

This also applies to the order of presentations. If a number of presentations are delivered by different companies, as happens in an interview situation, and they are all of a similar content and style, those that come first and last are remembered better than those presented in the middle.

Now you probably have no control over the order in which you are interviewed but you can control how memorable your presentation is by making it outstanding and irresistible using the tools and techniques in this programme and it has to stand out from the others if you want it to be remembered and increase your chances of winning.

So how can you make sure that your presentation stands out?

Start and end your presentation with a “bang” rather than a “whimper” (not necessarily literally!) by making the beginning and ending of your presentation more memorable.

Above all make it new, different and novel because when the brain perceives something as different stress hormones are released and the effect is better attention which means that you will be remembered differently from everyone else and really stand out. In this way you will be truly outstanding and irresistible.

Then thank them for listening. Most people don’t do this as they are only too keen to finish but it makes a great final impression for them to go away with.

And then what Blackadder said will never be said about you!

Until next time,

with best wishes for your success,

Cath :)

Cath Daley Ltd.

p.s. if you want to start to become a Master Presenter today then sign up here for the free Winning Presentations Mini-course and get the cutting edge Presentation Tip of the Week straight to your inbox every Monday.

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Posted on Nov 14 in Business Presentations, Communication skills, Presentation Skills, Public Speaking

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