Posted by: George E Burney | March 19, 2012

Public Speaking: Become More Persuasive By Developing Your Main Points

Without main points, a presentation has no structure and is therefore not persuasive. In the minds of your audience, nothing stands out as important. The entire presentation may seem helter-skelter and as flimsy as a house of cards.

In contrast, well-defined main points stand out like peaks in a mountain range. To your listeners, they’re hard to miss, and easy to remember.

What are they? They are the ideas without which your entire presentation will fail. They are the indispensable ideas which support your central premise like legs support a stool.

How many main points should you have? That depends on how much time you have, and the subject matter itself. It’s better to have fewer main points, with each adequately developed, than to have many main points, each insufficiently developed.

Why? Important ideas, if they are to be accepted by your audience, must be clearly expressed and proven if necessary. That takes time, and time is usually at a premium. That automatically reduces the number of main points you can cover properly.

Each main point must itself be supported by other, less important points. These minor ideas supply details which prove or illuminate the main points. Without them, the main point may lack credibility, and if it falls, so may your presentation.

If members of your audience are still thinking about a main point which you stated, but did not prove to their satisfaction, they won’t be with you as you move on to your next main point. That will create a gap in what they hear. In their minds, your entire presentation will lack cohesiveness, and as a result may seem unconvincing.

If a main point is difficult to explain or to understand, you may want to use an illustration or story to clarify it. Do whatever is needed to solidify and emphasize your main points. They’re just that important!

Copyright © 2012 by George Burney and betterpublicspeaking


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