The Power of Conciseness in Public Speaking: Making Every Word Count

In the world of public speaking, magic lies in the power of our words. As a public speaker trainer and enthusiast, I know that crafting a message that captivates and inspires is an art form and anyone can achieve it. One of the most potent tools in your arsenal? Conciseness. 


"I would have written you a shorter letter but I didn't have the time." ~ Mark Twain

It's soooo easy to be long winded and more challenging to be brief as intimated in Mark Twain's funny quote. Then, how do you easily craft a talk that's concise?  With a little help from ChatGPT, my great Google sleuthing, and my own public speaking experience and prowess, I have assembled 6 ways to help you easily be more concise. Let's begin!

#1  Limit Your Talk to 3 Main Points

The "Rule of Three" in storytelling and public speaking is a powerful concept. To make your presentation concise, start by identifying the three key takeaways or main points you want your audience to remember. If you have more than three points to convey, create three overarching categories, and place your additional points within these categories. This not only simplifies your message but also makes it easier for your audience to follow.

#2 The Art of Clarity

Have you ever watched a movie where a character's concise speech conveyed a powerful message? Think of Clint Eastwood's iconic "Make my day" line in Dirty Harry. Conciseness breed clarity. Knowing the entire point of your message will help you to keep your message succinct. When you do so, your audience can grasp it easily, like a well-told movie plot.

#3 Use Rhetorical Devices for Conciseness & Impact

One of the most effective ways to be concise and leave a lasting impact is by using rhetorical devices. These linguistic tools help convey complex ideas with brevity and eloquence. Take, for example, Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic "I Have a Dream" speech. In it, he used repetition, parallelism, and powerful metaphors to convey a profound message of equality and justice in a concise and memorable manner. Rhetorical devices can be your allies in delivering a concise yet powerful message.

Long-winded speeches can lose your audience’s attention faster than a bad Netflix series. Avoid the temptation to overwhelm your audience with excessive information. Being concise ensures that you maintain their interest from start to finish and can invoke curiosity.

Remember the immortal words of Shakespeare: "Brevity is the soul of wit." In public speaking, brevity means choosing words wisely. Avoid jargon and complex sentences that can confuse your audience. Instead, opt for language that simplifies and resonates and leaves an impact.

Time is a valuable resource in any performance, be it on a stage or on screen. Being concise allows you to manage your time effectively. In professional settings, staying within allotted time slots is crucial. MLK’s speech was only 20 minutes.

Summary of Practical Tips for Concise Speaking:

  • Create a talk with only 3 main points.
  • Be concise to be clear.
  • Use rhetorical devices.
  • Avoid overwhelming information.
  • Choose your words wisely; simplicity is key.
  • Practice, practice, practice to ensure your timing is impeccable.
  • Bonus: Use visual aids wisely to complement your message.
  •  Bonus: Be mindful of your audience's expectations and needs.

Example of Being Concise:

Original: "In today's presentation, I'm going to talk about the benefits of regular exercise, the importance of a balanced diet, the role of stress management, the significance of sleep, and the impact of hydration on overall health."

Revised concise presentation: "Today, we'll explore three pillars of holistic health: exercise, nutrition, and stress management.

Each of these categories encompasses essential aspects of your well-being, ensuring a concise and impactful message.


In the world of public speaking, conciseness is the wand that wields magical results. By embracing the power of brevity, you can make every word count and leave a lasting impression on your audience.

As you embark on your journey to becoming a confident speaker, remember the words of Albus Dumbledore, "Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic." Use them wisely, my friends, and watch your public speaking prowess soar.

Feel free to explore more of my blog posts for additional tips and insights on confident public speaking. Together, we can unlock the potential of your voice and make your message resonate with your audience.

Have any questions or thoughts to share? I'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment below and let's continue the conversation. Your insights and experiences are invaluable to our community of confident speakers.

About the Author

Hi! I'm Pam. I teach entrepreneurs to be fearless & compelling speakers online and in person and how to easily promote and run their own online workshops, webinars, and online courses. 

  • These tips are great! I especially like the one on the 3 main points. I love the idea of categorizing all of my points in to 3 categories for more impact.

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