Write Your Next Speech on a 4X4 Inch Post-it Note

Here’s a radical idea. The next time you have a create a presentation. Try creating the entire thing on a single Post-it note.   It takes some discipline. But you can do it. And it might turn out to be the best presentation of your life.

Step one: Get a Post-it note. The 4X4 inch note will do fine. But go bigger if you like.

Step two: Come up with a “hook” that will go at the beginning that illustrates the business problem your presentation addresses. If sales are down and you’re trying to help your sellers do better, you might tell a story about making dozens of calls but closing only a few deals. Just jot down a few key words that illustrate the idea for the story. You might write “Closing rates are down. Brief personal story.”

Step three: Write down three key “bumper stickers” that you really want your listeners to remember. These should be the three simple ideas that absolutely must stick in your listeners’ heads. If you’re giving a presentation on how to increase sales, your bumper stickers might be “We’re chasing too many prospects.” “Let’s narrow our prospect lists” and “Fewer total calls but more quality calls.”

Step four: Come up with some stories to support your three points. So if your first point is “We’re chasing too many prospects”, give a story illustrating the idea.  A real story from your own experience is best. Just jot down a couple of words to identify what the story is about. Let’s say that the story is about how one of the sellers last month made 50 prospect calls but only three of them were well qualified to buy. Your notes would say “50 prospect calls but only three good ones.”

Step five: Come up with a call to action.  What is the next step?  Do you want everyone to submit a sales plan in the next week?  Ask for something from the audience.

Step six: Start practicing. As you practice, you start by detailing your “Hook.”  “Today we’re going to talk about the problem we’re facing with dropping sales. In the last six months we’ve dropped to 50 percent of our plan. I’m going to talk about how we’re going to get sales back up.”  Then preview your three points by stating your three bumper stickers. Don’t go into detail yet. Just give a table of contents. Then go into detail for each of your points, telling stories you’ve noted.  As you practice, fill out the stories. Practice telling your stories over and over so that you can get them just right.  Then recap your three points and give the call to action.   Practice it five times.

This Post-it approach requires that you narrow your message to what is really essential and then bring it to life with stories. The practice will ensure that your delivery is strong. 

A clear three-point message. Stories. Strong delivery. How can you go wrong?

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