key messages - essential for your presentation

Create captivating presentations – the key messages

März 22, 2016

Pay attention to clear key messages

You should provide clear objectives and key messages in your presentation. Listeners want to understand why they should pay attention to you and what advantage they can gain from it. The key messages must be like a red thread through the presentation to ensure that they are truly understood. Therefore, used language to formulate the key messages should be easy to understand. They should be catchy, original and easy to remember and possess the qualities of good advertising slogans. Ideally, even a mental image arises connected to an emotion and both together act as a strong memory-anchor.

A few examples of this:

  1. If you want to present the advantages of a new wet shaver, the formulation “Our new shaver has been designed in a way that it always offers the best shaving results” would be unsuitable to actually interest your audience. If instead of that, if you assert – like the company Wilkinson – “it is so sharp that he should be behind bars”, it creates a memorable image in your audience, and everyone knows what you mean.
  2. An American aircraft company has successfully introduced an improved air missile in the international market in the eighties. The group management avoided technical details for marketing and bet completely on emotions. Thanks to the martial slogan “because there is no second winner in aerial combat”, the missile was a bestseller, because when it comes to life and death, it is better to be a winning technology.
  3. You can make the message more memorable if the slogan is connected to an image or symbol. Thus your audience has a pictorial core statement in mind. Volkswagen has ingeniously used this technique, for example, connecting the image of a VW Beetle with the famous saying “and runs and runs and runs”. In this way, an image has been created, that has dominated for decades the perception of car buyers.


Another important aspect is a clear formulation of the practical utility for your audience. What will happen if they follow your advises? What are the benefits that your speech offers? Avoid any vague formulations such as “could” or “probably”! Thereby you are diminishing your statements and attenuating them up to ineffectiveness.

Unique key messages about the expected benefits are transmitted to the audience directly and generate interest automatically. Therefore, they should be completely clearly formulated. Examples:


  •  “Use this method to triple your profit”
  •  “You´ll need only half the time thanks to our tool”
  •  “This means a saving of 30 % for you”
  •  “This will convince every customer”


Note the correct placement of the key messages in your presentation. If you speak for half an hour and leave until the last minute “the cat out of the bag” to explain why your speech was so important, the effect will probably dispel. Your audience will probably be thinking about the next lecture or on the way home. Therefore, give at the beginning of your speech already a glimpse of what your audience can expect. Awaken the curiosity by giving some key messages from the very beginning of your speech and promise to explain its accuracy step by step. Look at the central key messages of the red thread and make sure that your key messages accompany small highlights within your presentation for the public.



Matthias Garten founder of presentation agency smavicon an presentation expertMatthias Garten is an expert of multimedia presentations. He is businessman, speaker (TOP 100 Speaker), trainer (TOP 100 Excellence Trainer), author of various books, presentation coach (presentation training), a member of the GSA and the club 55, organizer of the presentation conference, the presentation bootcamp and presentation rocket day. In addition to PowerPoint and presentation trainings, he inspires and advises companies to present themselves in a more effective way and to stand out as competitors. He is proprietor of the presentation and PowerPoint agency Smavicon Best Business Presentations and has created with his team since 1993 over 10,000 presentations for over 150 industries.

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