What is your presentation’s throughline?

When you start designing your presentation, take a step back and ask yourself: What’s my main point? What do I want the audience to remember, to takeaway? Build your talk around this concept. From the TED Talks book:

There’s a helpful word used to analyze plays, movies, and novels; it applies to talks too. It is throughline, the connecting theme that ties together each narrative element. Every talk should have one.

Since your goal is to construct something wondrous inside your listeners’ minds, you can think of the throughline as a strong cord or rope, onto which you will attach all the elements that are part of the idea you’re building.

This doesn’t mean every talk can only cover one topic, tell a single story, or just proceed in one direction without diversions. Not at all. It just means that all the pieces need to connect.

Basically, make everything in your talk connect to the main point. Minimize the distractions and superfluous details.

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