BIG Presentation secret No.3: Be concise – make PIES

So what’s this week’s secret?

This week’s secret for successful BIG Presentations is to be concise.

We’re going to discover how to avoid waffle by making pies!

Why is waffle bad?

Do you enjoy having your time wasted?

Nope, nobody does.

Every word that we say that doesn’t add value for our audience or contribute to our core message is wasted time.

If we can explain a concept or argument succinctly in our BIG Presentation then it gives our audience confidence that we understand what we are talking about and that we can solve their issues.

But being concise and succinct isn’t always easy when we’re nervous about our BIG Presentations.

So how do we use this secret?

How can we avoid waffling?

The best way to avoid waffling is by careful planning at the writing stage of our BIG Presentation.

For each point that we need to make in our BIG Presentation (remember those key points to overcome audience objections that we identified earlier?) we need to write PIES – a short script/points to cover that ensure we give a concise, relevant and memorable answer.

What are PIES?

Point – what we’re trying to say, the point that we are making, in one clear statement.

Information – the evidence and further info that supports our original point (this may be fact, statistics, stories, diagrams.etc)

Empathy – why we’re like you / understand your pain (add a human element to this point – humour, a personal anecdote / story, your own opinion or experience of this)

Soundbite – the bit you’ll remember afterwards! (summarise your point in one memorable and quotable line. If you were Prime Minister, this is the line that would be quoted in tomorrow’s newspapers!)

Using PIES, we can:

  • get our point across succinctly (P and I)
  • build rapport with our audience by adding a human element to our point (E)
  • make it memorable by delivering a concise summary or soundbite of our point (S).

What do we do once we’ve made our PIES?

Practice, practice, practice.

Practice delivering your PIES as part of your BIG Presentation, refining them so that they taste just right (perfectly natural) to your audience and contribute perfectly to your core message.

Do we always have to use PIES?

PIES help to make us concise, engaging and relevant in all situations. However, sometimes we need to reorder our PIES to support our core message. Don’t be afraid to reorder the parts of your PIES if necessary and deliver SPIES, EPIS, PESI or any other combination to win your BIG Presentation!

Further reading…


Next week’s secret…

Stories have been used by man since the dawn of time to explain and pass on messages. You were probably told stories to teach you key life lessons as a child.

Our next secret is all about how to use stories to win your next BIG Presentation. Start having a think about the stories from your own life that could be used to inspire, motivate and persuade your audience!