The Rocket and the Necklace

As we continue to explore the structure of the perfect presentation, let’s move on from a powerful beginning to the next important concept: One Theme.


Two Modes of Communication

When you’re arguing a point or making a case, or giving a presentation, or just shooting the breeze, you’re always in one of two modes — the rocket or the necklace.


The Rocket

You should always strive to stick to one message. Two or three is too many. Never segue to a new category, and then another because you’ll abandon your theme and it will sound like you are addressing multiple issues.

If you want people to remember what you said, do not vary from your one theme. I call this approach The Rocket.

Picture a rocket. In the nose cone is your theme. Now picture lines fanning out from under your theme to your rocket engines. These are your SUB-THEMES that support your theme. Then imagine fuel pods below those engines, and these pods contain the examples that support your entire presentation.


The Rocket


Altogether, the Rocket looks like a PYRAMID. The Rocket can make many categories or points sound like one, and that makes it much easier for people to remember what you said, even weeks later.


The Necklace

The Necklace is a simple version of the Rocket. While the Rocket allows you to include multiple supporting sub-themes, the Necklace has no sub-themes. It has only one theme and a bunch of examples to back up that one central message.

Picture a thin silver wire. That’s your theme. Now string pearls on that wire, and that’s your necklace.

It’s powerful because it is so simple, and so elegant. It’s the psychological instrument leaders have used throughout history to motivate and inspire people to achieve great things. It’s just as effective in business and politics.


Windows – The Foundation For Your Message

If you’re following along as we move through the POWER Formula, then you recognize that the third component – WINDOWS is inherent in both modes of communication. Windows are examples and they’re the fuel for the rocket and the pearls in the necklace. Windows let people get past ideas, concepts and generalities. They give you credibility, make the presentation more interesting and ensure good retention.

Your presentation should be about one theme, and to be successful, you should build on your foundation with solid examples.

Next time, we’ll explore the importance of EAR in your presentation.