The best presentations embrace the Rule of Three. Just think about it. Aristotle taught that the best presenters should have ethos (character), pathos (passion), and logos (logic/evidence). He also encouraged the idea of having a beginning, middle, and end. Building from that same logic, you should only have three points because the human brain works like this: 1, 2, 3…I forget. The good news here is that the content building phase of your presentation should not be rocket science.
Let’s take this one step further. If you want to start embracing the Rule of Three then I have a format for you for outlining your next presentation. And, here is the fun fact. It’s a format you already know which is tell them what you are going to say, say it, and tell them what you just said. You have heard this your whole life but you’ll be amazed by how many people actually apply it. In the 10 years I have seen presentations, I can count on both hands how many presentations actually abided by this format. Now, if we want to put it in a business context, it can be actually be broken down into five stages:
Stage 1: Tease
The Climate: State or tease at the current market/cultural situation
The Problem: What the problem today for you, your competitors, & your customers with your product/service?
The Solution: Why are you the solution? How are you making meaning or changing the world?
Stage 2: Unveil the Mystery
The Preview: What are your 3 main points or “golden nuggets?”
Stage 3: Inform & Ignite
Point #1: Main point with at least 3 supporting claims.
Point #2: Main point with at least 3 supporting claims.
Point #3: Main point with at least 3 supporting claims.
Stage 4: Lockdown
The Review: Review your 3 points.
Stage 5: Launch
Call to Action: What is the next step? What is your call to action?
Tell them what you are going to say. Say it. Tell them what you just said. It’s that simple.