Evangelism, Marketing, Presentations, Talking to Customers, Writing

Three Easy Rules on Creating a Presentation or Speech


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I was in Toastmasters for 13 years and learned an easy-to-remember framework of three rules for creating a prepared or off-the-cuff talk. Here it is:

Businessman pointing from FreeDigitalPhotos.netRULE #1 – TELL THEM WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO TELL THEM.
That’s what I just did in the first sentence above. I told you what I’m going to tell you. It alerts the listener/reader to what is coming and sets the stage for the rest of the talk or presentation.

RULE #2 – TELL THEM.
Here’s the body of the talk or presentation. Perhaps you told the reader/listener that you were going to give them “Five Ways Our XYZ Product Beats the Competition.” Make sure you guide the reader/listener by saying “Point #1” and then talking about that point. Let them know when you’re at “Point #2” and so forth. In a PowerPoint presentation, use title slides with “Point #1, [Blah, Blah, Blah].” It is really easy for the reader/listener to get lost in a presentation and totally miss what you are trying to convey. So guide them.

RULE #3 – TELL THEM WHAT YOU JUST TOLD THEM.

Now’s the time to drive home what you told them. In Rule #1 you told them you were going to tell them __________. So now you say “I told you in the beginning of this talk that I was going to give you an easy framework for creating a talk [or whatever you told them you were going to say]. I gave you three easy rules to follow, which were _________.” This is your recap. You’re not going over every detail you told them in the body of the presentation. You’re just summarizing.

So, my recap is that it’s easy to create a talk or presentation if you use a framework that guides your reader/listener. It not only helps you to stay focused, but also keeps your reader/listener focused on what’s important. You can also use this if you’re called upon to talk with no time to prepare at a meeting. All you have to remember is to:

RULE #1 – TELL THEM WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO TELL THEM.
RULE #2 – TELL THEM.
RULE #3 – TELL THEM WHAT YOU JUST TOLD THEM.


P.S. If you present at conferences, in meetings, or to customers — or just want to be able to stand up in front of people and give a talk or speak extemporaneously — I highly recommend Toastmasters. You’ll learn a lot, make a lot of great friends, and have a lot of fun.