What is the take home message?

So, how are you going to put this into practice?
What is your next take home message going to be?
How are you going to deliver it effectively?


Here’s my ten point guide to the take home message:

  • Decide the one key message that you would choose for your listeners to remember if they forgot everything else.
  • This is your take home message
  • Ingrain it upon your memory: if you can’t remember it, how will your listeners?
  • Keep it short: avoid “and ninthly…”
  • Make sure that the evidence for the take home message is in your talk, but keep the declaration of the message uncluttered with justifications
  • If the audience can’t see that the take home message arises from the talk, then there is likely more wrong than the take home message itself.
  • The take home message may be emphasised through delivery by change in tone and speed. It should stand without further reinforcement.
  • Because you want to finish with the take home message, if you need to do an Oscar style ” I wish to thank my wife, children, cat, assistants, co-workers, manager, listeners, favourite rock band, sausage supplier” acknowledgement then do it at the beginning before getting to the meat of the talk.
  • A simple “thank you” at the end acts as an indication that you have stopped without hopefully distracting from the take home message.
  • The take home message should be the last thing in your talk. This is the take home message here!