Construct Your Message in Three Acts

Think about your message like a stage play, delivered in three acts.

Here is a great way to think about your message, in three acts.


You meet your audience, and your audience meets you. Your goal is to get them engaged right away, and the best way to do that is showing them what will be coming. Give them the topic, the main points, the key players, whatever key information they will need later. We don’t want them thinking ahead to the final act. We want them engaged in the moment.

If you really want to advance your skills, use story, quotes, anecdotes, or a statistic to capture attention and to introduce your key points. Try to make them feel it, care about it.

And if your topic is controversial, don’t keep them in suspense. Get it out there, in a respectful way. Hiding it from them until the end won’t make them like it more.


You now have their attention, and you need to prove your point. You need to provide the relevant detail so that they will support your idea, agree with your point, follow your lead, etc.

Don’t add anything extra. Extra detail doesn’t make it better. Details need to earn their way into your presentation. If it doesn’t fit, put it aside.

And if you want or need to hold their attention for a long time, then divide your content into chapters or sections. At the end of each chapter, give your audience a moment to absorb with an internal summary.


Go back to the beginning. Tell them nothing new. Pick the things you want them to remember most, and say them again. If ACT 1 and ACT III sound a lot alike, then you have written a good message plan.

That’s all! Keep it simple!

Have a great day.

At The Latimer Group, our individual Coaching services are highly customized and designed to help you achieve your specific goals. Typical engagements focus on developing skill sets in Leadership Communications, Public Speaking, and Executive-Level Business Presentations. To learn more, e-mail us at

2 Responses to Construct Your Message in Three Acts

  1. Dean was in Atlanta earlier this week and on my floor…32 SunTrust Plaza. I intended to pull him aside and comment that I am still using his deck from our kick-off conferences from last year (heard him 3 times) and continue to refine what I do in presentations. I also enjoy these email messages of reinforcement. As I am leading the SunTrust implementation of the DoL Fiduciary Rule I am constantly traveling and giving presentations and this information has been invaluable. I literally lay presentations out as a story board to ensure the message and story are what I want.

    • Hey, Chris… Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Love that you’re still using our deck, and our concepts. The ultimate compliment we could receive. Wishing you continued growth and success! ~Dean

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