How to Make Your Presentation Pithy and Powerful

A pithy presentation is a powerful presentation.
A pithy presentation is a powerful presentation. Edit until your message is to the point.

Subtle changes will make a tremendous difference

Both in your public speaking and writing. Here are a few of my inside secrets on editing to ensure that your presentation is a success. A “pithy” presentation is “to the point” and “forcefully expressive.”  That’s powerful.  The word “edit” is commonly misused as a synonym for “delete.” However, “edit” actually means, “correct, revise, or adapt.”

Four strong suggestions

1.) Revise by deleting repetitions, digressions, fuzzy phrases, and meaningless clichés.

For example, “today” might be the most overused, impact-diluting word used in presentations and business communications. Simplify where you can without sacrificing meaning.

2.) Look for any unintentional blanks – for example, skipping a step or instruction.

These kinds of omissions will confuse or lose your audience. Correct them.

3.) Frame your presentation content in a way that appeals to your specific audience.

Approach your subject from your audience’s own interests. Consider whether they will be familiar with the language you choose and can relate to the stories you include to illustrate your message. Remove needless and self-indulgent digressions.

4.) Watch your languageIf it were not a 'thing' what would it be?

The question I frequently ask my speech coaching clients is, “Specifically, what do you mean by thing?” I recently listened to a marketing expert speak. I’m a big fan of his expertise, but for the first hour of his talk, almost every statement he made included the word thing. I listed 25 choices of words he could have used instead of thing. Every one of them would have added more impact and credibility to his remarks. i.e. Idea, technique, habit, strategy, formula, commitment, disciple, suggestion… you get the idea.

Another big offender is tons. You do not get tons of ideas; you get three pages of notes or 16 actionable items. After a networking event I hear people say, “Oh, I met tons of interesting people.” No, you did not. You met two dozen interesting people with whom you probably had seven meaningful conversations; two you will follow up for business conversations, and two you are looking forward to seeing socially.If you can't weigh it do not say 'tons'

Do you want to get promoted? Drive more sales? Inspire action and commitment?

Then be specific. Specificity builds your credibility, and the more credibility you have in any situation, the more you will succeed.

When it comes to public speaking, increased competence leads to increased confidence.

If you know you need to improve your presentation skills, join Fripp Virtual Training.

Fripp Virtual TrainingBecome a great presenter quickly, easily, and cost-effectively on your own schedule. I’m here for you 24/7 through FrippVT.

“I wanted a super bowl-quality coach, and I was lucky to be introduced to Patricia Fripp. Her help in coaching and scripting was world-class. With Patricia Fripp on your team, you can go places.”
– Don Yaeger, Long-Time Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated magazine, Award-Winning Keynote Speaker, New York Times Best-Selling Author

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Pithy Presentations Are Powerful

Just a few of the many complimentary resources on to help you deliver pithy and powerful presentations:

Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp works with individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.