Adding Flow and Focus to Your Message

Leadership Communication

Once you have created a clear structure for your message and have built your business case, consider how you will lead your audience through your message. There are certain phrases which will both help the flow and make the message more coherent. 

Making the message flow

Signposts

These tell the audience where you are in your communication, and when you are moving from one section to the next. They are a great way to keep your audience engaged mentally with your content.

Examples of signposts and where they can be used include:

Setting out the structure at the beginning

Today we’ll be looking at the three areas: Firstly…secondly…finally…’

Today I'd like to talk about three areas...’

‘I’ll cover four areas in this update...’

Indicating a new section or change of subject

‘The first/next thing I want to talk about is…’

‘So, if that’s the situation we face, what can we do about it?’

‘Let’s now look at HOW we’ll implement this program...’

Summarising sections

‘So, to summarise the main issues of our cost-cutting program...’

‘In terms of our marketing strategy, first we examined ... Second we considered … Finally we looked at ...’

Signalling the end

‘That brings me nearly to the end of our meeting/my speech/presentation.’

Closing and calling for action

‘Before I close, I’d like to remind you of my key message...’

‘Before I finish, let me just say how pleased we are to have had this opportunity to show you the strength of our team, our capability and  our resources.’

‘and now I ask you to take the necessary steps to...’

 

Signposts help your audience to 'see' and follow the structure of your message. They are the glue which ties all the parts together. But that's not all...


Focussing your audience

Within the message, certain phrases will help you to focus the attention of the audience on key points and make them more memorable.

Examples:

‘What’s important for our clients about this is that...’

The significance of this is that...

‘What’s critical to understand is...’

What should concern us here is the...

‘The benefit of this is...’

‘What this means for us is that...’

 

And what about slides?

Slides should be integrated into the flow of your storyline.

If you move through the slides using expressions like 'this slide shows..', 'the next slide shows...' it will make your presentation sound slide-driven and obscure the real message.

Instead think about having a single claim on each slide and then displaying the evidence you have chosen to back it up. Use expressions in your storyline such as:

 

‘To illustrate this point…’

‘Lets take a look at the extent of this downturn...’

‘To support what I’ve said, this graph shows…’

'The point I am making is clearly seen here/in this graph (gesture to the slide)...

The growth in the market can be clearly seen in this chart..'

'The reason for this can be understood if we take a look at [costs over the last 12 months].'

 

You can then highlight the particular point of the slide by using phrases such as:

‘What’s important here is…‘

‘What I’d like you to note in this table is…‘

‘I’d like to draw your attention to …‘

‘Importantly, this shows/represents…‘

‘As you can see by this illustration…‘

‘You can see from this graph that…‘


 This way the visual will support the point you want to get across.

 

To improve your presentation flow and delivery, please contact Professional Voice on:

+44 (0)208 579 6662

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