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Developing Your Core Message

By December 19, 2018Blog

When it comes to creating content, I am a Rule of Three evangelist.

Speak to three main points—or say nothing at all.

However, there’s one step that should be taken before you start listing points 1 through 3. You need to determine your core message.

Your core message can best be described as the one thing you would want your audience to remember above all else. It’s the most critical bit of information you want them to retain. It should be simple enough to be repeatable.

When organizing for the ear, your core message is where you should begin any presentation prep because this preeminent takeaway guides your application of the Rule of Three. Once you have identified the core concept you want to relay, you can better select the proper points to support it.

In a previous blog, I shared my Rule of Three response to the question, “What do you do?”  My response goes something like this:

“I’m a confidence creator. I help clients speak with ease to any audience across any platform—in person, on camera, or through virtual communication tools.”

My core message is that I’m a confidence creator. That’s the one thing I want my audience to retain. My three supporting points follow with the final point “across any platform” having three sub points.

As you can see, the core message can stand alone, while the supporting points provide context.

The Rule of Three Expanded

The Rule of Three gives you a universal tool for crafting any presentation, on camera or off, but it can also be built out, if time allows.

If you are doing a longer presentation, you can add subpoints under each of your main supporting points. When doing so, though, always continue to think in threes. It would something look like this:

Your Core Message

  1. Supporting Point 1
  • Subpoint 1
  • Subpoint 2
  • Subpoint 3
  1. Supporting Point 2
  • Subpoint 1
  • Subpoint 2
  • Subpoint 3
  1. Supporting Point 3
  • Subpoint 1
  • Subpoint 2
  • Subpoint 3

Adapt Your Presentation

By expanding the Rule of Three in tiers, it allows you to build up or scale back your content based on how much time you are allotted.

Let’s say you prepared a 5-minute on-camera presentation, but you are told you only have two minutes. You could just chop your content from the bottom up, potentially leaving off part of Supporting Point 2 and all of Supporting Point 3.

How about this alternative editing choice? Leave your three main supporting points intact but eliminate a level of detail. Think about cutting vertically, rather than horizontally. It enables you to streamline your content but maintain the integrity of your message.

Learn More: On-Camera Coach

If you found this information valuable, check out my book, On-Camera Coach: Tools and Techniques for Business Professionals in a Video-Driven World, now available from Wiley Publishing. On-Camera Coach aims to take the mystery out of communicating through the camera and provides specific tips and techniques that can make your message sing—and you, the messenger, feel confident in a job well done.