Tell them what you are going to say, say it and then tell them what you said.
- Tell them what you will tell them. This is your opener in which you lay out why you are speaking to the audience. Your message should be predicated on two things: what you want to say, and what the audience needs to hear. Too many presenters focus on the first half but not the second. Knowing what your audience needs to hear is critical to the leadership aspect of your message. You are there to provide direction.
- Tell them. This section is open ended. It is the time when you pour out all your content, and explain the details. As a leader, it is the best time for you to build your business case. Your message should ring with logic; that is, you need to emphasize the benefits of your points. But important messages also need to resonate with the heart. Put people in the position to feel why what you’re saying is important and how things will be better when they follow through with your ideas.
- Tell them what you just told them. Reiterate your salient points. For leaders, this is the opportunity to give people a reason to believe in your idea and in you. And then demonstrate how you and your team are the ones to deliver on the message. That is, if you are a sales person, how you will back up the product. Or if you are a CEO, how you will guide the company through troubled waters.
This is a formula but it need not be formulaic. That is you can imbue the structure with data but more importantly with your personality. Laden it with stories that amplify your points. Season it with numbers, add spice, sprinkle in humor. And relate the message to your audience.
Not only does Aristotle’s triptych work for formal presentation,