There’s significance to the number three when speaking.
The concept of providing information in blocks of three is known as the “tri-colon,” and is a secret that’s been used for ages in literature. The theory is that it’s simpler and more efficient for the brain to absorb and apply meaning if there are three words or ideas, instead of two.
A third word in a series not only gives confirmation and completes a point; it’s the earliest stage in a phrase at which the connection between the first two words can be supported. When you use more than three, your audience members’ brains begin to pay less attention to the information. When you use fewer than three, your point falls short of its intended impact.
The “tri-colon” is a staple of effective writing and speechmaking, and the world is replete with examples of powerful “tri-colons” that have shaped our culture. Chances are pretty good that you’re familiar with, and know the meaning of, these famous “tri-colons.”
- The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth
- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
- Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
- Stop, drop, and roll
- Location, location, location
So, what’s the lesson? When planning your presentation, arrange your points so they’re in groups of three as much as possible.
Would you like more speaking tips? Try these 8 videos (They are all free).
It is important to have an objective for your presentation.
Even though the objective is reached at the end of the presentation, it should be the first thing you think of. Your entire presentation will be designed to get to that objective.
Start With the Goal and Work Backwards
What are some possible objectives to a speech or presentation? Are you there to inform, inspire or influence? What do you want your audience to do, to be or to have as a result of your presentation? How will you let them know your intention, and how will you get them to take action?
Once you have clearly defined your goal, a logical next step is to prepare your closing. How you close your presentation or speech will determine what your audience does with the information you’ve provided.
Prepare your closing statement, or your “call to action,” and then consider what your audience needs to know and feel in order for them to take the course of action you recommend. Most audiences are going to require more than personal influence to make changes, to make decisions or to take action, therefore, your presentation must contain compelling arguments to sway them to your way of thinking.
After your goal is clearly defined, and you’ve worked out your call to action, then it’s time to decide what content will best convince your audience to adopt your ideas.
Designing your presentation from the… Continue reading
You must Earn your Right to be in front of your Audience!
Regardless of how you present yourself, either as an expert, as a reporter or as a philosopher, you’ll need to provide some evidence that you have actually earned the right to be in front of your audience. Inevitably, you’ll have someone in your audience who’ll be asking the question, “Who says so, besides you?” or, “Why should I believe you?” Having the proper evidence gives you the ability to handle any such questions, and you may very well have to use this evidence.
When you have the proper evidence to support your talk, you remove yourself from any line of fire of anyone who might challenge you. This provides you with enormous confidence, because you know that you have the goods to defend yourself against someone who might oppose you. You have all the proof you need, and that gives you strength.
In addition, providing evidence helps your audience to put your information into its proper context in their minds. It allows your audience to see the real-life application of your ideas, your claims or your philosophy.
The evidence you provide can depend on how you position yourself when you speak. If you’re presenting yourself as an expert, your evidence is your personal experience. As a reporter, your evidence is your research. And as a philosopher, you offer an example of the application of your philosophy.
When… Continue reading
A powerpoint can be an element of your presentation, but be wary of making this mistake like Bob did.
Bob chose to use PowerPoint slides for his presentation, and on each slide were bullet points supporting his talk.
In addition to bullet points, Bob included a small cartoon on every slide. These cartoons were very amusing, and everyone laughed at each one. We were all very interested to see what clever and funny cartoon Bob had on his next slide.
Bob went through his presentation, and he managed to keep his focus on his material, never once commenting or referencing the cartoons on his slides, much like the way Katrina never commented or referenced the garment bag on the table until the end of her presentation. It was really an interesting process to watch Bob remain focused on his material, while the rest of us laughed at the cartoons on his slides.
Everyone highly enjoyed Bob’s presentation, and when it was over, we all gave him tremendous words of praise and congratulated him on his entertaining approach. We did this quite sincerely, because Bob’s presentation was truly entertaining and enjoyable.
A few days after Bob’s presentation, I ran into someone else who had been part of Bob’s audience. She commented on how much she had enjoyed Bob’s presentation, and she said, “I particularly liked the cartoon about the cat.”
I responded, “Yes, that was funny! Let me ask… Continue reading
Emotion is KEY to Speaking Success!
Why do audiences like stories so much? Because stories help them put the point of the lesson into context, but also add an emotional element to what could be a dry subject.
In addition, our brains are wired to remember emotionally charged events. As we become emotionally involved in a story, our entire being changes at the physical level.
In her book, Molecules of Emotion, Candice Pert explains exactly how our emotions physically affect our body, changing the way we behave at the cellular level. Her work shows there are actual physical molecules associated with the emotions we feel, and these molecules bind with receptors on our cells and alter the way our cells behave.
Dr. Bruce Lipton, an internationally celebrated cell biologist, explains in his book, The Biology of Belief, precisely how the cells altered by an emotional process affect us at the molecular level. Each molecule has a positive or negative charge, and when they bind with receptor proteins on the walls of our cells, those positive or negative charges cause the proteins in our cells to change their shape, resulting in physical changes in the body.
As a speaker, transferring information only engages the intellect of your audience, but adding an emotionally charged event to your talk brings your audience out of their intellect and into their emotion. That’s where real learning is done and that’s where real… Continue reading