Have you ever felt this growing anxiety at the idea of planning the structure of your presentation?

If you're a bit of a perfectionist,  passionate about your subject, and a little lacking confidence, you might have the temptation to spend phase one of the preparation in gathering ideas, information, data, examples, anecdotes, images, etc…. Great brainstorming! The danger is to get caught into that phase and start acting as a starving squirrel before a freezing winter.


(Scrat, from Ice Age,  an American film created by Blue Sky Studio and released by 20th Century Fox.)

Collect as many nuts as possible, avidly,compulsively and stock them in dreadful fear of being caught "illegitimate".

Here is a tool which works like a game and adds the fun and clarity usually lacking at this stage of the preparation. Simple, easy, fun and friendly!

Created by CleaveFast, part of Bunchberry & Fern

The simple, yet brilliant idea, is to turn things upside down.

Instead of starting by collecting and brainstorming, opening more and more windows at the risk of losing your time , purpose and nerves (and totally your audience, by the way!), you start by the end.

In CleaveFast 's game, the first questions to ask yourself are:

"What will be different about the world when I've finished?

What will these people know that they didn't know before?

When people are telling their friends about this presentation, they will say…"

Even if we already knew this, nothing really new under the sun, the necessity of finding your Key Message, we all seem to forget it at the minute we start preparing, and rush like the good zealous student for more data and content.

Three added values in CleaveFast's Pyramid Tool

  1. Make it look like a game

Children still trapped inside of grown-ups LOVE playing games. Well, I do, anyway!

And Play is Good for You! The purpose of the game is to get your ideas climb the pyramid.You have three basic instructions.

  • Decide what your "Global Message" is
  • Find three powerful stories, images, anecdotes to illustrate your global message
  • Only then, brainstorm and gather ideas in many forms (words, images, audios, movies…)

That's when a Mindmap is pretty useful and fun to do!

Once you have done this, you can start climbing  the Pyramid. Your ideas will get to the top if they belong to the Rules of Three and add real value to the three stories you already have

     2.  Make it visual and easy to remember


     3.  Integrate the rule of Three Stories

Remember Steve Jobs announcement speech at Stanford?

Well, you don't have to be Steve Jobs to do this, the very old and simple idea of using three stories to illustrate your speech. Back to the origins of storytelling, ancient myths and religions in all cultures have used the rule of three . More about it in How To Use The Rule of Three in Your Speech by Andrew Dlugan in Six Minutes Public Speaking and Presentation Skills Blog.

So, what's in it for Your Next presentation?

  • Take a deep breath before you dive into your subject and take the time to reflect, project yourself in the future and ask yourself very simple questions, aimed at your Audience 's needs.
  • Then, play the game and follow the Simple Plan in 3 steps!

The idea is to relax, knowing you already have the essential : Your key message. How to craft it? "C'est une autre paire de manches!" *Some clues in Speech writing articles to be followed…

*"That's another kettle of fish?"

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