Only One Point

If you want your point remembered, then remember this: Have

Thing is, you don't want to have only one point. It's hard, and it can feel wrong. Cutting out bad points for clarity is easy. Cutting out irrelevant stuff for clarity is easy. Cutting out good stuff though, is hard.

The difficulty is that when you present or write about your topic, you will know lots and lots of points. You will also know that leaving out some of the points is wrong, and will give your audience or your readers an incomplete picture of your position. And as a person of great intellectual integrity, you won't want to provide an incomplete picture, so you will be tempted by the curse of all your knowledge to include enough relevant points to get the whole, complete, well-argued, multi-point message across.

Trouble is, people won't remember it.

They will remember something: They will remember that you knew a lot. They will remember the reassured, comfortable feeling they had that you covered all the bases. If you're a good, entertaining speaker, they may remember that you were a good and entertaining speaker. The risk is though, that they won't remember your points.

So now you have a choice:
  • Either present many points and be remembered for being knowledgeable, or
  • Or present one, have it stick with people, and actually change the world one memorable point at a time.
Don't get me wrong. Having one point is not the same as having one sentence. We're not talking about being content-free. (We wouldn't want to put copy writers or the printing industry out of business after all.) It's fine to have lots of supporting arguments for the point. (Using a logic tree is a good way to ensure they do support the point) It's fine to have compelling stories to illustrate the point. It's fine to present concrete, unexpected evidence to shore up the point. The trick though is to make sure that all those arguments, all those stories and all that evidence are obviously, easily and memorably linked to your one central point.

Clarity Rule: Have One Point


  1. "Have one point", I love it. Reminds me of the KISS acronym, but even more precise.

    Very nice blog, I look forward to your regular posts!

  2. Thanks. You know what was hard though? Keeping this post to only one point! *grin* But I like the comparison to KISS. Dead right.