How to use PIES to keep your public speaking points concise!

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 presentation’s core message is wasted time.

If we can explain a concept or argument succinctly 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 upcoming presentation.

How can we avoid waffling?

For each point that we need to make in our presentations 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.

The first way in which we can all help the elderly this winter is by regularly checking in on any elderly neighbours that we may have…

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

Last winter, 10,000 pensioners were discovered after a fall in their home by concerned neighbours. Without these neighbours knocking on their door, they may never have been found before it was too late.

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)

I can personally relate to this. Last year during the snow, I was unable to visit my grandmother as the roads to her house were blocked. I couldn’t reach her on the telephone, and thankfully her neighbours thought to knock on her door. They discovered she had fallen on the stairs and were able to get her to hospital in time to make a full recovery. If it wasn’t for her neighbours, my grandmother would never have seen her first great grandchild born last month.

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!)

And so this ladies and gentlemen, is why I am asking you to wander out in winter for your elderly neighbours.


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 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!

Delivering PIES is just one part of the public speaking training that I deliver on a daily basis. If you’d like to talk more about your presentation skills and public speaking training requirements (and even have me design and deliver an original course for your business) please contact me here.

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