Create compelling presentations with key messages

Make sure you have clear core messages

In your presentation, you should convey clear objectives and key messages (core messages). Listeners want to understand why they should pay attention to you and what advantage they can gain from it.

The core messages must run like a thread through the presentation to ensure that they are truly understood. Therefore, when formulating the core messages , easy-to-understand language should be used. They should be catchy, original, easy to remember and have the characteristics of a good advertising slogan. Ideally, the listener even develops an inner image combined with an emotion, both of which act as strong memory anchors.

A few examples of this:

1. if you want to present the benefits of a new wet razor, the phrase “Our new razor has been designed to deliver good shaving results every time” would not be suitable to actually interest your audience. Instead, if you claim, as the Wilkinson company does, that he’s “so hot he needs to be behind bars,” you immediately create a memorable image among your audience, and everyone knows what you’re trying to say.

2. an American aircraft company very successfully introduced an improved anti-aircraft missile to the international market in the 1980s. The Group management avoided technical details in its marketing and focused entirely on emotions. With the martial slogan “because there is no second winner in aerial combat”, the rocket became a bestseller, because when it comes to life and death, it’s better to go for a winning technology.

3. even more memorable are messages in which a slogan is combined with an image or symbol. As a result, your audience has a key message pictorially before their eyes. Volkswagen, for example, has used this technology in an ingenious way, combining the image of a VW Beetle with the famous saying “and runs and runs and runs”. This created an image that has shaped car buyers’ perceptions for decades.

Another important aspect is to clearly articulate the practical benefits for your audience. What’s in it for the listener when they follow what you have to say? What benefits do you offer in your presentation? Avoid vague formulations such as “one could” or “probably”! In doing so, you relativize your statements and weaken them to the point of ineffectiveness.

Clear core messages about the expected benefits speak directly to the audience and automatically generate interest. Therefore, they should be formulated completely clearly. Examples:

–  “Triple your profit with this method”

– “With our tool you only need half the time”.

– “This means a cost saving of 30% for you”.

– “With this you convince every customer”

Note the proper placement of key messages in your presentation. If you lecture for half an hour and only at the last minute “let the cat out of the bag” as to why your lecture is so important, the effect will most likely fizzle out. Your audience may already be thinking about the next presentation or on their way home. Therefore, at the beginning of your presentation, give a preview of what your audience can expect. Arouse curiosity about the evening with you by briefly outlining your key messages at the very beginning and promising to explain their accuracy step by step. Pay attention to the common thread in the central statements and make sure that your core messages repeatedly create small highlights within your presentation for the audience.

MG_portrait_sw150pxwideDipl.-Wirtsch.-Informatiker Matthias Garten is the expert for multimedia presentations. He is an entrepreneur, speaker (TOP 100 Speaker), trainer (TOP 100 Excellence Trainer), multiple book author, presentation coach, member of the GSA and Club 55, organizer of the Presentation Conference and the Presentation Bootcamp. In addition to PowerPoint and presentation training, he inspires and advises companies to present themselves even more effectively and thus stand out from competitors. He is the business owner of the presentation agency smavicon Best Business Presentations and has created over 15,000 presentations for over 150 industries with his team since 1993.