Question #28: What is a good method to structure my talk when writing a speech or preparing a presentation?

Dale Carnegie was a master presenter who lived in the first half of the 20th century. He trained thousands of speakers around the country and taught them the following:

Tell the audience what you’re going to say, say it; then tell them what you’ve said.

Lets break that down:

1. Tell the audience what you’re going to say. (preview)

2. Say it. (explanation)

3. Then tell them what you said (review)

Want an example?

How do I “tell the audience what you’re going to say, say it; then tell them what you’ve said?”

Recently I gave a business presentation on “How to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking”. In this presentation I shared three keys for increasing speaking confidence and reducing fear.

Using the above formula, my speech went like this:


You will learn three keys that have enabled me to overcome my fear of public speaking. They are: 1. Act Confidence. 2. Prepare. 3. Relax

Let’s start with the first one. Act Confident.


Second key is: Prepare


Third key is: Relax.


You can overcome your fear of public speaking. First, Act Confident. Second, Prepare. Third, Relax.

Notice how I previewed my three keys, then explained each, and finally reviewed them in my conclusion.  I have given this presentation multiple times and the above format has worked the best.

Under each point you can start with saying the point, explain the point, and then review the point. This makes your presentation get remembered.

You can use the same idea when telling stories with effective storytelling techniques.

Telling Stories that Make a Point

Every story or situation will vary, but here is a great outline.

State the Point – Story illustrating the point  – review the point

By following Dale Carnegie’s formula your speeches will be well structured, easy to deliver, and remembered.

(C) Arlen Busenitz –

Arlen Busenitz

Arlen Busenitz is an experienced speaker with over 650 presentations. He is Author of several books, CD's,and creator of Become a Better Speaker in One Evening™

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