Introduction | Message | Audience | Structure | Physical Aspects | Psychological Aspects
Contents can be presented in different styles – abstract or concrete. The easiest way to understand the difference between those two concepts is to think about chemistry lessons in school. The abstract contents are like the theories and fact in the schoolbooks, the concrete contents are the experiments made or described in the book, showing the practical application of the theories.
How much abstract and how much concrete information a presentation should contain, always depends on the situation. It depends on the purpose and the frameworks of a presentation and on the audience. There are e.g. those listeners that can process abstract information easier and then there are those who prefer concrete information (see learning cycle by D. Kolb) (13).
In general, however, recipients process information the best when presented in a concrete and abstract way.
- During preparation you should think about both aspects of the content delivery, the concrete and the abstract ones and prepare both of them:
• Version 1: The theoretical frameworks is done -> find the matching practical examples to underline the theories
• Version 2: You have the concrete contents (e.g. a story) -> structure the abstract contents according to the concrete examples
Why abstract and concrete?
The abstract presentation of contents is necessary to give an insight into the theoretical contents underlying your message. The concrete presentation of contents anchors the theoretical knowledge in your brain.
- e.g. practical examples to a theory; linking theoretical contents to the experiences of the audience … => Theoretical knowledge can be ‘understood’ and applied