Foolproof Formula for Powerful Presentations

Here's a powerful public speaking 'formula' that I picked up from Craig Valentine's book, World Class Speaking. If need to deliver an important presentation, and one which 'sticks' in your listeners minds long after you've finished speaking, then use the PARTS formula - Point, Anchor, Reflection, Technique, Sale. Let's have a look at each of the elements in turn...

Give the main point/message of the speech/presentation. Boil your entire speech down to just one main point by asking yourself the following question, "If my audience was to remember only one thing I'd said today, then what would I want them to remember?" Find your most important point and state it explicitly.

After giving your main point, you need to "tie it down" with an anchor? "What's an anchor?" I can hear you asking. An anchor is basically a tool which will hook the Point into the listener's memory. There are four anchors that you can use. You don't need to use all of these, but make sure that you use at least one:
  • Activity - If you can create some sort of quick game/role-playing activity that will solidify your point, then be sure to include it. Just make sure that the purpose of the activity is clear to everyone.
  • Acronym - Acronyms are a useful memory tool. For example, the acronym PARTS will you help you remember the public speaking formula you're learning here (Point, Anchor, Reflection, Technique, Sale)
  • Analogy - Here's an example of an analogy from the book The Mars and Venus Diet and Exercise Solution by John Gray

Think of your body as an old-fashioned steam engine. You need to feed the fire with coal. When there is no coal available, the stoker slows down so that all the available fuel is not consumed. Likewise, your metabolism slows down for the rest of the day when you don’t eat breakfast.”

After anchoring your point, you want to get the audience to reflect on the point you just made by asking them a question. Here's an example from Craig Valentine.

In one of his speeches, he talks about the power of visualization. Specifically, he talks about how he mentally stepped on the stage at least a 1000 times before he ever became a champion. To get the audience to reflect on his point, he asked the question,

"What stage are you stepping on mentally at least 1000 times?". After asking the question, allow for enough silence for them to be able to answer the question in their own minds.

If you can, then give the audience a technique that they can use to apply your main point. For example, if you're giving a speech about the importance of time-management, then you would want to make sure that you're audience can apply your point by giving them this technique: "Before you go to bed each night, take a pen and a piece of paper and write down all the things you need to accomplish the next day. List all the tasks according to importance, and when you wake up in the morning, start with the most important one first"

Finally, you've made your Point, you've Anchored it down, you've got them to Reflect, you've given them a Technique, and now you need to Sell the benefits. Remind the audience in just a few sentences the benefits they will receive from applying the technique you've just given them. Carrying on from the time-management principle above, you can say something along the lines of: "If you manage your time well by applying these techniques, then you will be more productive, experience less stress, and lead a happier life overall".

P.S. It's my birthday today! Go ahead and Share this post because it'll make me happy ;)