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The Law of Primacy and Recency

Updated: Jan 13

First (Primacy) and Last (Recency) –

Primacy and Recency

If you want it to Last!

For any presentation, people are more likely to remember the first and last parts.

This is one reason it is so important to give lots and lots of consideration to your Speech Opening and Speech ClosingThis is what your audience will remember, so it best be something very germane to your message, and so they ‘Get It!’

Because of the primacy effect, it is important information be presented correctly the first time.  The first thing presented makes a huge impression that is often hard to override.  (There’s only one chance to make a first impression!)

Check and double check that your opening statements are true and ‘on message’.  If what you state in your opening is not correct, and you correct it later in your talk, many people will remember your first statement.

Of the two effects, the closing effect carries more weight for your message than the recency effect because the last thing the audience hears and experiences, is the first thing they’ll remember! .  It should be – Outstanding!


  1. Closing arguments attorneys give.  (You’re better to be last.)

  2. Final statements in a campaign speech.

  3. Last lyrics of a song.

Taking these facts a bit further, it’s usually a better position to be the last person being interviewed for a job, and the last speaker at an event. Follow this advice for using the Law of Primacy and Recency and your presentations will be - NO SWEAT!


Pausing is a key component of presenting.

About the AuthorFred E. Miller is a speaker, an international coach, and the author of the books,“NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and“NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, andPresentation Skills.

They do this because they know:"Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities."

They also know:We perceive really great speakers to be Experts. We like to work with Experts.

He shows them how to: Develop, Practice, and Deliver Fantastic Presentations! with – NO SWEAT!


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