How much information can the human brain process in a given moment?

That is yet to be figured out. But the scientific revelations that we have at your disposal iterate that our attention span is limited and what we can remember is certainly much stunted in comparison with what we observe and record.

At any given point in time, the human brain can observe the immediate surroundings, record all senses and process dozens of informational snippets. However, we don’t remember all of it. We can only remember or recollect bits and pieces of what had been processed. For instance, you may remember a quaint smell, a strange or interesting color, a particular object of intrigue and perhaps just a few words of a sentence or a few numbers from a stack of information.

When you are presenting something, especially at an event, you have to ensure that the audience doesn’t just observe what is happening but gets to process all the information and understand it. Unless the audience understands it or remembers what is being presented, the whole objective of the presentation remains unaccomplished. That is not a desired outcome.

Let us check out what science has to say about this:

  • According to various studies conducted to study how memory and attention span work, it has been inferred that the human brain can pay close attention or remain heavily focused on five words or six letters or seven digits/numbers at a time. In a span of twenty to thirty seconds, we are only capable of truly understanding or processing and thus remembering five words, seven numbers or six letters. Anything beyond that would be omitted or would be in our subconscious memory. Our working memory is much more limited than our collective conscious and subconscious memory.
  • There have been numerous studies which have been scientifically substantiated to uphold the inference. That brings us to the art of sharing information during a presentation at an event. When you have an information overload, nothing more than those limited numbers, letters or words would be etched in the mind of the audience. Hence, it is necessary that you have a slow and steady imparting of information.

When it comes to crucial information, it is best to focus on that, to illustrate the content so the brain gets enough time to process and thus remember what is being presented. Only then can the presentation be truly effective.


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