You’ve been there before. You’re at a conference or meeting and the speaker is droning on giving detail after detail and not connecting thoughts or ideas. After 15 minutes of this minutia your eyes start to glaze over as you ask yourself two questions: “Why am I here?” and “What the is the Point?”
Unfortunately, this scenario is too often the case in the workplace. This trance-inducing ennui causes the audience, to tune out, drop out, and disengage. Like Nero fiddling while Rome was burning the speaker is now talking in a vacuum. Valuable ideas will be lost and buy-in will be non-existent.
The number one reason a point is lost is because the speaker lacks focus. The first step in preparing a presentation is to determine your outcome. To clarify the outcome complete this fill-in. At the end of the presentation the audience will _. The answer is your outcome. Once you have a clear focus, develop your points around that purpose. Without a crystal clear outcome you’ll lose focus during the speech. Here are some tips to stay on message and to get to the point.
Set it up. One of the biggest speaking mistakes is starting with details. Technical speakers often fall into this trap. Begin with a purpose statement.
Point of View Plus Two. Give them a roadmap by providing a 3 point agenda. Why 3 points? They're easier to remember. An agenda is a road map. It tells them where you're taking them.
Spell it out clearly and concisely. Flesh our each agenda item with examples and statistics but keep it brief.
Bring it home. Summarize your main points. Don't leave the listeners hanging. Review where you've been. Bring back your three points and end an inspiring statement with a call to action.
When you follow these steps your listeners will enjoy the destination AND the journey.
Diane DiResta, president of DiResta Communications is an international speaker, trainer, and coach. She's the author of Knockout Presentations.