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I want to talk to you today about the power of making one main point when you give a talk or presentation.

Think back to the last few sermons or presentations 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.

The truth is, we live in a culture packed full of information. All day I’m bombarded with information from the television, internet, blog posts, and twitter feeds. Something really needs to stand out for me to take notice and remember it amidst all the noise.

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

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.

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

One speaker who does a great job of making one main point is Joel Osteen. I turned on the television and listened to Osteen as I got ready for church. He always starts his sermons the same way. “Today I want to talk to you about [his one point].” All of his arguments, all of his bible passages, and all of 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.

Next time you are planning a talk, sermon, or presentation, think about what your one main point is. 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, try to 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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