JCL Blog

On Speaking: The Take Away

This is the second in a series of posts about public speaking. The first was: On Speaking: The Frame. In this post I will do what I can to shape The Take Away.

There is a conflict in any presentation between the need to be entertaining, and the need to make your point. Variety is entertaining, and repitition makes a point. The trick of course is to have enough variety to keep your audience awake, but not so much as to cloud up your take away. I find it helpful to imagine myself at the exit door of the venue asking everyone to tell me the one thing they took away from my presentaiton. The goal is for them all to have taken away the same message. So we do the tell, tell, tell.

  • Tell them what you are going to tell them: Here you make your point all shiny and interesting but without all of the supporting arguments. With any luck it is also The Frame.
  • Tell them: Take your main point and support it with as many other points as you think you can get away with. Stray far enough from the point to keep it interesting. Not so far that they forget what you are talking about.
  • Tell them what you told them: Review, summarize, and remember to stick to your point. Hopefully you still have your audience, but even if they tuned out in the middle, you can still land the take away.

So forgive the overuse of a very tired addage -- but tell, tell, tell really works. Give it a try.