Ready, Set, Speak on the Fly

It’s Monday morning. You’ve successfully navigated a busy family weekend, fought through rush hour traffic, and managed to get to your meeting on time. You can finally relax with and enjoy your cup of coffee… Then you realize your boss added you to  the agenda to deliver an update.

Don’t panic.  It’s time to get ready — fast.

Fortunately, speaking on the fly is not as daunting a task as you may think. All you have to do is remember two things: Core Message and Structure.

Core Message

This is the statement that encapsulates the key message you want the audience to take away from your presentation.  Think bottom line.  Think T-shirt (make your core message succinct enough to fit it on the front of a T-shirt).

Tip:  What is the one thing you want the audience to remember if they forget everything else? Answering this question can help you nail your core message.


Most likely, you are already knowledgeable about the content of your presentation.  Now, all you have to do is organize it into a simple structure that is easy for you to remember and for your audience to absorb. And the best tool you have at your disposal is story.

Stories are memorable because they have a simple structure: open, body, close.  Here’s how you can quickly apply a story structure to your content:

  • Engage Audience (Click here for examples) 
  • Core Message: (Bottom line is…)
  • Preview: (Your main points)
  • Main Point 1
  • Main Point 2
  • Main Point 3
  • Repeat your core message
  • Briefly summarize your main points

The next time you have to speak on the fly, remember that you can get ready in a few short minutes by simply remembering: Core Message + Structure = Presentation Success.

Speak on the fly is one of the presentations we help clients master when they participate in our two-day Presentation and Technical communications programs.

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