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Trimming The Fat


My apologies to vegetarians, but the analogy is necessary. And, no, this isn't a dig at you and the pounds you think you put on over Thanksgiving; or the future you that's aiming to stuff your face for the December holiday season. Personal confession: I'm a sucker for egg nog, and even tried experiment making some of my own over the weekend, and what we concocted, while good, tasted more like rice pudding sans the rice. It's no Clark Griswold special.

Must of been all those nights around Christmas, as a Jewish kid staring jealously out my family room window at the other side of the cul de sac where the Rudolph (seriously) house was always light up festively, and frequently hosted holiday parties featuring egg nog, shrimp cocktails, and ham off the bone. Droooool.


Wow, lost in a food memory. Where was I...egg nog, ham of the bone....ah, yes, trimming the fat. Folks, what I am referring to is a tightening of the belt of your presentation by taking a honest look at what works and what doesn't. You want your speech to be engaging but direct, your story exciting but not lingering. No doubt there are details you'll want include, moments you feel are perfect, or sections you've worked on for months so you need them to fit. But, the reality is, you may not have the time for all of it, and even more importantly, some of the content you feel is necessary may not be for the event theme and the audience in attendance.


Intentionally arranging your presentation is key: I call this "Building The Sandwich," where any detail included must relate to, enhance, and build upon the next. Think of your presentation as delicious, gooey, meaty, veggie, cheesy sandwich . From the first bite to the last, each part of your message builds upon the next and ultimately culminates into a satisfying experience for the audience.


  • The perfectly placed top bun: the purposeful moment (anecdote, wowing fact) that sparks the rest of your presentation.

  • The rich ingredients of your speech: intentionally layered content that complements your intro and transitions to your conclusion.

  • The final touch: the capstone bottom bun moment that is both supportive of and concludes your message.



Remember, just because YOU think it's important doesn't make it the right choice for the listeners. A trimmed down, lean version of your presentation may be the more appropriate choice, especially if you're speaking virtually. The Q/A portion of the event might be the better place for the anecdotes and juicy details you were hoping to air.


More to come. Please sign up for my newsletter for exclusive speaking and storytelling content: www.myspeakingcoach.com.




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Paul D. Kreiter M.Ed. - Speaking Coach 

617.564.0322 - kreiter.paul@gmail.com