A Magic Number for Presenters – Speech Key Points

WRITTEN January 14, 2016 Author: John Epstein

Speech Key Points – A Magic Number for Presenters.

Think about the last presentation you attended (virtual or in-person). Got a good mental image of it? Now ask yourself how many key points you remember from that presentation.

As the facilitator of a presentation skills program, I have posed this “key points” question to hundreds of participants over the years. Their answers have ranged from “zero” (a little sad) to “five” on the high end. Zero was a much more common response than five, which only a handful of participants were able to remember.

The most frequent response?
Three speech key points.

Social Security and telephone numbers are grouped in threes (3-2-4 and 3-3-4, respectively) because it is much easier to remember a group of three than nine or ten sequential digits. This is significant if we hope to have an impact on our listeners.

Organize your next presentation into (at most) three key points. Your talk will be more memorable and more likely to be acted upon.


This information is referenced in our Presentation Skills curriculum. If you’re looking for ways to improve your communication skills, register for one of our public classes. Click here for more information.


Improving Communications welcomes as a new instructor, Public Speaking and Presentation Skills trainer John Epstein, founder of Actionable Learning.

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