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Stop rambling. Here’s how the most successful people get to the point, says public speaking expert

By | Joel Schwartzberg |

A few years into my work training leaders and public speakers, I noticed a concerning pattern.

My clients were speaking with conviction, planting their feet, making good eye contact and gesturing with intention. But when I asked them for the point of their speeches, their responses were all over the map — including themes, topics, categories, titles and catchphrases.

What I rarely heard was a true point: a simple proposition that idea X will lead to a meaningful impact on Y.

What do I mean by this? Imagine two presenters arguing for increasing a company’s investment in social media marketing.

If you asked for their point, they might say “social media marketing.” But that’s a topic. Or they might say “the importance of social media marketing in business.” But that’s a title. Or they might say “the rising phenomenon of social media marketing.” But that’s a theme.

A point is different. It’s a contention you propose, argue, defend, illustrate and prove. The value and purpose is clear, and it lays out a specific and meaningful impact.

How to get to the point faster

To easily elevate a topic, title or theme into a point, I recommend using the “I Believe That” exercise. The most successful speakers use it, and it’s incredibly simple:

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