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Count from 1 to 5: A Quick Guide to Great Presentations

Planning for presentations is like teaching math to a child. That is, according to keynote speaker Stephen Boyd, it begins with counting numbers. If a child knows how to count from one to ten before starting formal education, speakers can also use these basic numbers as a guide in making their business talks count.

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Let’s focus first on the first five.

One Main Idea

For a presentation to be effective, it must have one main idea, and, at least, one idea per slide.

Focusing on a central idea allows your audience to easily understand your purpose and follow your discussion flow. When this main point is communicated seamlessly, it’ll be easy for you to create lead-ins to your supporting details.

Two: Compare and Contrast

Comparison and contrast are convincing techniques that explain two distinct topics or subjects.

They are useful when stressing your edge over your competitors or when relating your product’s importance to something your audience members can better understand. Express your creativity with figurative language like metaphors, similes and personification to make a bigger impact and persuade them to do business with you.

Rule of Three

A presentation is divided into three important parts: the beginning, middle, and end. The rule of three streamlines your discussion with an interesting and memorable structure.

Most stories are crafted with these three parts. Take advantage of this framework to strip down all of your arguments, pieces of evidence, statement of facts, and takeaways into easily digestible and explainable information.

Four: Forethought

It’s possible to deliver your speech alone without needing four allies to save you from life-threatening situations like in action movies.

The key is forethought.

Planning ahead prevents common mistakes and formulates potential solutions whenever problems arise. Practice and preparation keeps you from using short-cuts, ensuring that you convey your message sincerely.

Last Five Minutes

The last five minutes of your talk are as important as your introduction.

Bad endings undermine your credibility and negatively reinforce ideas to your audience. Think of powerful ways to make an effective close. Cite a quote, use videos, or crack a humorous statement.


Numbers are not only great pieces of evidence but are also useful guides for making successful presentations. Keep the aforementioned big five in mind as you prepare your materials.

Looking for PowerPoint experts to help you on your presentation needs? Give us a call at 1-858-217-5144 or request for a free quote from SlideGenius today.


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Applying the Rule of Three to Your Presentations.SlideGenius, Inc. May 5, 2014. Accessed July 23, 2015.
Great PowerPoint Presentations Need Great Main Ideas.SlideGenius, Inc. April 30, 2015. Accessed July 23, 2015.
Public Speaking By Numbers.Public Speaking Tips. August 17, 2011. Accessed July 23, 2015.


Featured Image: “Count on fingers” on 1001freedownloads

Fine-tuning Your Presentation’s Core Message

As a presenter, your main goal is to make sure that the audience remembers the vital parts of your discussion. It’s not a particularly easy task, especially if you’re tackling several different points throughout an hour-long presentation. That’s why crafting a fine-tuned core message is important. You should have a clear and effective way to deliver the “big idea” behind your presentation. You should have something short and straight to the point that the audience can repeat and memorize.

The core message is the anchor that keeps your presentation from floating off. In other words, it keeps your presentation set on a single premise. Everything you present—from the data you share to the slides you show—should contribute in driving home this key idea. When you first sit down to prepare your presentation, it should be the first thing you have in mind. What do you want the audience to take away from your discussion? What’s the outcome you’re aiming for? The answer to these 2 questions is the first step towards an effective core message. After that, you’ll need to fine-tune your message to make sure it’s easy to repeat, recognize, and remember.

Spend some time scribbling down your ideas. Keep revising your core message to meet the following criteria:

1. Is it specific and straight to the point?

As we’ve already mentioned, the core message will be the center of your presentation. If you want to keep the discussion on the right track, your core message needs to focus on the particulars of your message. The topic of your presentation gives the audience an overview of what you might talk about, but the core message is specific and straight to the point. Determine the purpose of your presentation and make sure it’s evident in your message.

2. Is it short and conversational?

If you want the audience to remember your message, you have to make sure that it stands out. Try to write your core message in a more conversational style. As you know, there are distinct differences between the way we write and speak. Craft your presentation as you would a conversation. If you want your message to stick, keep it short and cut back on jargon and industry talk.

3. Is it relevant to your audience?

Maintain the audience’s interest by placing them at the center of your presentation. Make sure your message is relevant to their interest by keeping in mind their point of view. Do this by addressing your message directly to them. Try to answer these four questions to learn more about your audience.


Featured Image: Horia Varlan via Flickr