Tell ‘Em What You’re Gonna Tell ‘Em, Tell ‘Em…

And then tell ’em what you told them. That’s a presentation / public speaking golden rule.

The easy way to incorporate this principle into persuasive speaking is to be very explicit about all the stages of your presentation and then announce when you’re in each stage.

Here’s one reason why. While listening to someone speak the other day, I zoned out. I disengaged. When I was ready to re-engage in her talk, I didn’t know where she was — I had no guidepost — and so it was harder to know how and when to start focusing again. So, I stayed “checked-out” for the rest of her speech. My take-away: A great way to keep the attention of your audience over a longer talk is to break your speech into chunks and announce when you’re entering a new chunk, which is like offering a life raft to someone who wants to re-enter the concentration zone at the beginning of a thought, rather than in the meandering middle.

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