Time is of the Essence

November 9, 2015


Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, managed to surprise other government ministers when he showed up at the weekly government meeting with a stopwatch. The ministers soon discovered they had no more than 3 minutes to present their agendas.

This scenario demonstrates a basic assumption that we tend to agree with: It’s possible and even preferable to squeeze content into short time frames. The way to do it is to not present all the information you have, but instead your knowledge. While information is just data that anyone can find, knowledge is the value you give that information – your personal take on it, based upon your experience and expertise. Once you know what your message is, you just need to structure it in the right way in order for it to come through effectively.

How to do that? Glad you asked!

VAYOMAR’s Message Structure Model is based on three parts, which will help you deliver your message in a clear, concise and engaging way.

  1. Grabbing Audience Attention

The opening has a decisive influence on the audience’s attention during the presentation or during the entire meeting. There are two elements that are cardinal to its success:

  • Matched Expectations – what are we going to talk about

  • Value – what’s in it for them? Give your audience the benefit right at the start

  1. Message Body

The big challenge of this part is making the distinction between the essential and the inessential, and presenting the supporting information in a coherent flow that is memorable over time. It is recommended to divide the information into three points, arguments or main categories, each with its own short and clear title.

  1. Call to Action

End with a repetition of your main message and a call to action – what is the conclusion you want your audience to reach, and what do you want them to do about it? Try to make it as measurable as possible.

Whether you have 3 minutes or 3 hours, structuring your message according to this model will help you establish your status as an effective, influential speaker. Good luck, ministers!



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