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When you’re giving a talk or presentation, it can be helpful to focus on one main point.

What Do You Remember?

Think back to the last few sermons or talks you listened to. Do you remember anything the speaker talked about? What was the main point or message?

If you’re like me, a lot of times you don’t remember anything.

Information Overload

We live in a culture packed full of information. All day we are bombarded with information from the television, internet, blog posts, and twitter feeds. Something really needs to stand out for us to take notice and remember it amidst all the noise.

When you give a talk, your listeners are in the same situation.

3 to 5 Main Points is Too Many

When I first learned how to give a talk, the normal process was to come up with three to five points I wanted to make, and organize the talk around those points.

Now I think even three points is too many.

When I give a talk today, I focus on one main point, and organize all my material and examples around the one main point.

The Example of Joel Osteen

One speaker who does a great job of making one main point is Joel Osteen. Sometimes I turn on the television and listen to Osteen as I get ready for church. He always starts his sermons the same way. “Today I want to talk to you about [his one point].” All his arguments, all his bible passages, and all his examples focus on the one main point. He starts his sermon by telling you the one main point, he keeps coming back to the one main point throughout the sermon, and he ends his sermon by reminding you about the one main point.

It’s a simple structure.

And people remember the one main point.

One Main Point

The next time you are planning a talk, sermon, or presentation, think about your one main point. What is the one thing you hope your listeners will take away from everything you plan to say? Once you identify the one main point, build your talk around it. Start by telling your listeners the one main point. Have all your research, bible verses, stories, and examples point your listeners back to the one main point. And end your talk by reiterating the one main point.

You might just find your audience remembers your one main point.

Which is, after all, the point.

Discussion

How do you usually organize your talks or presentations? How many points do you try to focus on? What do you think about the idea of focusing each talk on only one main point?

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