So how can you make your next speech or presentation better by using the very same techniques that huge Hollywood studios do to tweak movies?
You can do that by using focus groups. Now, hear me out: this will not cost you a thing. So many Hollywood studios want do not want to hedge their bet- they do not want to spend millions of dollars on movies that come out and audiences do not like them or just hate the ending. So they test their movies. They get focus groups, show them the movie, and just ask them what they think.
This technique often actually ends up improving the movie. If the people in the group feel confused at any point, they will let the makers know. If they hate the ending, they will also let that know. An example is the movie Fatal Attraction where focus groups did not like Glen killing herself as an ending so it was changed.
Guess what: you can do the same with your presentations. If you have a big presentation to give to 40 people in a few days, get a few colleagues together a couple of days earlier and show it to them. Ask them what stories they remember, what ideas they took away, and what they think they should do according to your presentation. In this way, you can use their feedback which would ideally come at no price, and tweak your presentation for the better.
You can also record it prior and email it to a few trusted individuals and ask them for their opinion. Hollywood producers have been doing it for years, and you can as well.