You may have heard of the acronym ‘KISS’ when it comes to giving effective presentations. KISS means ‘Keep It Short & Simple’. And one way to ensure you ‘KISS’ well is to work on the key message of your presentation, so you’re able to give it in one sentence.
You might also like:
- Rapport is more important than grammatical accuracy
- This fact will change your view about presenting forever
Here are three reasons why having a clear key message expressed in one sentence is so useful.
1. It helps you prepare your detailed content.
An easy way to prepare content is to put your key message in the middle of a sheet of paper (no PowerPoints at this stage, please). Then you create a mind map, brainstorming all the ideas and points that support your key message. The next step is to edit by looking for common themes. Ideally, group your ideas into three themes, following the ‘rule of 3’. This ‘rule’ states that people remember things more easily when they’re grouped in threes. These three themes will then become the sections of your presentation.
2. It helps you cut down your presentation at a moment’s notice with minimum stress.
Imagine that you’ve been told you have 20 minutes to give a presentation, but when the moment arrives you’re told that your presentation time has been cut down to 5 minutes! No problem. If you’ve prepared a succinct summary of your presentation in one sentence, all you need to do is state it as you begin and support this statement with three main points. (The rule of 3 again!)
3. It helps you keep to the point.
Are you guilty of rambling and going off the point? Being able to say your presentation in just one sentence is a great way to keep focused on your important messages. Remember, you should only be giving information that directly supports your key message; everything else is superfluous and may lead you to overwhelm your audience with too much information.
So there you have three (of course) excellent reasons for being able to reduce your presentation to just one sentence. It gives clarity to you in your preparation and delivery, and it keeps you focused on KISS, so you don’t speak too much, go off point and cause the audience to disengage.
Get into the habit of doing this exercise with every presentation you prepare and see how it saves you save time and stress just when you need it.