Develop Your Formula for Epic

By Jane Atkinson

Imagine you are giving a speech on your topic and you only have time to cover three main points – what are the most important key elements?

I am a lover of formulas. I have heard people pooh-pooh them a time or two over the years, but I really think having a formula – a well thought-out plan that delivers all of your ideas – can be helpful (See my book The Epic Keynote to learn more about formulas). Sure, it might not be perfect for everyone, but if you need a place to start, it’s a good one because:

  • People can remember a formula.
  • People can repeat a formula. And if your formula is good enough, a company may adopt it and make it part of their culture.

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I’m not exactly sure why a three-part formula is so effective, but I do know people can remember three things. It might be more that the stories you attach to the formula make it effective, but starting with three main ideas is helpful.

Let me give you an example:

You are a speaker who has gone through cancer and you want to share your formula for overcoming challenges. You might decide that Vision, Support and Taking Action are your points.

  • Vision (having a vision of yourself beating cancer)
  • Support (bringing positive people and healthcare experts onto your team)
  • Taking Action (eating right, researching your disease, etc.).

Now it’s your turn. What are the three most important key elements you want to cover in your speech?

List your key points – you might have one key word – but you can write a line that describes its meaning to keep it clear in your mind:

1. ________________________

2. ________________________

3. ________________________

This is your formula.

What is your formula?  Let us know below in the comments!

PS: Many of you witnessed some epic presentations last week in San Diego at the National Speakers Association conference. One of the best was Mike Rayburn’s hologram – stay tuned as we interview Mike on the path to that amazing presentation.