Many speakers confuse their information with their presentation message. We live in a world filled with facts and data. It is relatively easy to put together a string of facts. When I ask clients to clarify their presentation message, they often find this difficult. “But isn’t it obvious?” is the response I often get. No – it is anything but obvious – especially to your audience who often only hears your presentation once. If you are not sure what your presentation  message is, you can bet that your audience doesn’t have a clue!

Here are three steps you can take to clarify your message:

  1. Determine why  you are  speaking? Are you there to inform, to entertain or to persuade? What is the exact next step you want your audience to take as a result of hearing you speak? What do you want them to think, feel or do differently?
  2. If you only had 10 words to say, what would they be? Think in terms of a slogan for an ad campaign, or for a T-shirt. Ideally it has to be catchy, repeatable and memorable. This is not the time for jargon and technical terms. Take your time to get this right. Bounce your ideas off a few people. Once you clarify your core message, it becomes simple to decide what to leave in your presentation, and what to leave out.
  3.  Keep it simple and  easy to understand. This presentation message can be woven into your presentation from start to finish. This helps you build a cohesive presentation that is easy to understand and remember. If your audience can remember your presentation message, they are more likely to take the exact next step you have defined for them.

Speakers who take the time and put in the effort to get this presentation message right will reap the rewards. Make sure that you are one of them!