How Cognitive Science can make Your Sales Presentations more Persuasive

Rekha Nithiyanantham

Rekha Nithiyanantham

July 11, 2023

Have you ever wondered why one sales presentation increases the probability of a sale while another reduces it? Understanding how the brain engages with a presentation is key to generating the desired response. Let’s dive deep into the neuroscience of selling to learn how connecting with your buyer's mind drives sales conversions.

Decision-making is a cognitive process based on perception, memory, and attention. Since a Microsoft study concluded that the human attention span dropped to 8 seconds, shrinking nearly 25% in just a few years, a meaningful sales presentation should focus a customer’s attention on the key takeaways before it gets distracted.


To make a presentation more impactful and memorable, you need to employ specific techniques driven by cognitive processes:

1. Utilize memory and repetition to maximize the impact

People only remember 10% of a presentation after 48 hours because working memory is limited. To turn the working memory into long-term memory, which impacts decision-making, repeat the main message often throughout the presentation. For a 20-minute pitch, you must repeat the message 12 times.

2. Use the right kind of visuals to influence attention and recall

Attractive design stimulates the brain and transmits information much faster than text. According to a study by MIT, 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visuals are powerful, triggering emotions and influencing decisions, while animations increase the level of alertness in the audience.

3. Ensure the language resonates with the customer 

In the absence of images, emphasize key text for your audience. Help the brain build a mental image by using color, size, and tabular format for greater clarity, and leverage language to enhance brand recall.

4. Offer only a few options

When presented with too many choices, the brain needs help making a purchase decision. Telecom or insurance companies often offer too many plan options, clouding the customer’s mind. Give your customer only the best options for your services in the presentation, helping them make decisions quickly.

5. Keep it simple

Ensure that you clearly state the information you want customers to notice, as people tend to believe and value fluent communication. For example, electronic products have specs that the average consumer might not understand. Finding a simpler way of rewriting the specs can heighten customer interest in the product.


Your prospects will attend many presentations, but only a few will leave a mark. The more aligned your way of presenting your ideas and the brand to how the brain assigns value and makes a purchase decision, the more effective your presentation will be. Maintaining consistency in every sales presentation is challenging and time-consuming. Professional presentation experts can help prime your buyer’s brain and initiate the process of self-persuasion with their personalized solutions. In addition, leaving it to them can not only save valuable sales networking time but can also help you learn how better presentations are always customized with storytelling, graphics, and animation to match the purpose of the sales pitch.