KISS in English

Keep It Short and Simple

MAKE IT CLEAR — October 29, 2015


Get Your Key Message Across to the Audience Clearly, Effectively and Memorably

Make sure you, yourself know what your key idea is.  Now take this idea and check yourself,  by asking yourself if it means something for the audience.  “Don’t sell the steak, sell the sizzle”:  is your key message in the form of a benefit for the audience.  Is there a WIIFY ( what’s in it for you)?

If so, be sure to begin with your key message, at the very start.  It should be in your introduction just after your greeting ,introduction and  hook.  The message should be clearly stated as…. Today I’m here to….*.

Be careful not to “bury the lead”.  This happens when you use a cartesian methodology and wait until the conclusion to expose your key idea.  Business is not about academic gymnastics but rather about “the bottom line”.   Therefore you begin with the bottom line to grab the audience’s attention in a way that will be intriguing and beneficial for them.


Click on don’t bury the lead to hear Chip Heath co-author of Made to Stick talk about not burying the lead.

*contact me for a list of introductions Continue reading



A Chinese proverb states:

Tell me, I’ll forget
Show me, I’ll remember
Involve me, I’ll understand

…and we can add “let me experience it and i will always remember”

How can we get an audience to experience?  By sharing our stories and having them share the experience that it entails.  By a story I mean a strong narration with real characters; real places; real events that I can visualize as you recount.  It can be a personal story, a professional story, a news story. a “vision”.  You need to provide explicit and descriptive details.  However it should not be long.  Only give key essential pieces.

Typically a story has 3 components:

  1. A real context which brings us into the scenario
  2. A conflict; challenge; problem to confront
  3. A solution/resolution by which there’s been a change that we feel has somehow transformed us as well

By going through the events, the struggle and the outcome together the audience can feel (pathos) a connection rather than think it (logos).

The added advantage of a story is that the audience is open and in a receiving mode.  This is in strong contrast to a logical argument where the audience is thinking and evaluating the logic.

The type of story you choose will always depend on your audience and your reason for giving the presentation.  Some audiences and subjects may require a “facts and figures” story while others may thrive on a more emotional story line.

And, of course the delivery will become of high importance.  Click on NPR to see Michele Obama at her peak and learn about the NPR approach.

iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe


To be continued….

HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR MESSAGE- Logos and Pathos — October 13, 2015


Combining the audience’s needs  (who) and your objective (why) for giving the presentation will provide you with a general idea of what your key message should be. Now you need to be able to say it in a way that it means something:  to you and to the audience.  You need a full, explicit idea which includes a reason why the audience should listen (WIIFY)

  • Your key idea should be expressed explicitly and with interest for the audience.  For example my key idea is “How to communicate explicitly in order to create more stimulating content”.  This explicitly expresses my intention.  Many presenters would however just say how. “how to be more dynamic”, or, “communicate explicitly.”
  • A good message should be a complete idea with a “reason why” for the audience to listen.

Once you provide your key message you need to develop it.

  • Using a combination of supporting ideas which are pathos/ feeling and logos/logical support is often the way to go.
  • It is currently thought that decisions are made based on feeling and logic is used to justify the decision. Therefore both elements should be used.

Logos  – Features/Data/ Logical arguments/Proofs/Schematic charts

Pathos – Stories which illustrate qualities and benefits/Metaphors and Analogies which bring meaningful dimensions to the facts/Thought provoking questions

You want your audience to care about the content (pathos) and feel justified in doing so (logos)

TARGET YOUR MESSAGE — October 4, 2015


What you say should come from asking 1. who and 2. why you’re talking to this audience.  The cross section of this answer should provide you with your 3. message

1. Who are you talking to?

  • Picture a real person–Age; demos; cultural aspects…
  • Why are they listening to you?
  • What do they need to hear;  what can they learn
  • What format works best

3. What to you need to say…………
— this is “THE





2. Why are you talking AND how are you talking to them, i.e.,

  • –  to sell/promote yourself
  • –  friendly, team oriented
  • –  formal; authoriatibe
What does it take to be a strong speaker? — October 1, 2015

What does it take to be a strong speaker?

Public speaking is one of people’s biggest fears. It ranks along with the fear of death. Moreover, if it’s not in your native language, it’s a real challenge. Over the next few posts I will provide you with some tips to make it easier.

Step 1.

First, and most important, is to be comfortable as a speaker in English. So what does that take?  I believe that it starts with: 1- Knowing WHAT to say.


KISS your audience—Keep It Short and Simple

You need to be able to say your key message in one simple sentence.

Your talk should have one key message. Thereafter you will use several ideas to support this key message.

Do you know what your message is?

It is the one key idea that you want the listener(s) to take away with them. If everything you say comes back to the same key message the listener has a clear, key idea to take away. Now, if you create a series of convincing ideas, which support this idea, you’ve created a memorable argument.

The trick to developing a strong, memorable argument is to find 3 supporting ideas and link them together to tell a story.   This will provide you with the shell just below.

Start To Create Your Narration



Three points that develop this are:









How do each of these points link?— are they adding to the same point; contrasting; emphasizing? Write your answer in a and b.  You now have your story!

Next week we’ll see how to identify the key statements; stay tuned ….