Get Your Point Across

Have you been in one of these situations? (1) You have been asked your opinion at the “big” table during the monthly board meeting; (2) Someone asked you for your opinion on a current topic of concern at the office; or (3) You are mentoring someone and they ask you for your advice on how to handle a work situation. Here is a simple template for how to get your point across in a clear and concise way: Summarize, Expand, Example, Restate. SEER!

Whether in a small group, one on one, or infront of a microphone (shown in picture) - summarize, expand, example, restate to get your point across!
Use Summarize, Expand, Example, Restate (SEER) to Get your point across!

Summarize

Explain in one sentence (if possible) the issue or point. The summary is where you can Find the Lead of the issue. This helps the listener cage their thinking to align with what you are telling them. If it is within the current conversation or discussion, a little transition is needed. However, if you want to talk about a completely unrelated or different topic, add a transition. You can let them know that there is something new that you want to talk about, and ask if they are ready to shift to a new topic.

Expand

Give a little more information about the topic. It may be some background, or the actions and circumstances that led to the current issue. Or, it may be explanation of how the problem came to your attention, why you are bringing this up now, or what the consequences may be if the issue is not dealt with properly.

Example

Storytelling is a vital part of business communication, as described in this Forbes article. People are wired to respond and reflect on stories, and the more personal they are, the more impactful they can be. The example may be hypothetical, and if it is, that should be clear to the listener. Self-effacing stories are great learning tools, which reminds us that stories that belittle others may not be the best ones to use in delivering a point. They may distract the conversation or bring up other thoughts and emotions in the mind of the listener.

Restate

Finish your statement by circling back to the original problem summary. This reminds the listener about what you wanted to talk about. It also makes sure that the story is closed and that it does not become the topic. The restatement focuses all on the problem at hand now, and not on the past.

Graphic depicting SEER - Summarize, Expand, Example, Restate
SEER works to get your point across!

Practice this technique. Try to do it in very few sentences. Write it out. The example might require a bit more than one sentence, but that is why practice is important. You want to deliver a very tight and concise example.

If you browse around this website, you will find a speaking technique called PREPPoint, Reason, Example, Point. Look it up – you will see that PREP and SEER are close relatives. PREP is a bit more formal, useful for speaking engagements like a toast, a formal response, or a Q&A session. SEER – Summarize, Expand, Example, Restate – is more useful in common work and family situations.

Get Your Point Across, todays CommLink. Look for more dynamic speaking principles and ideas at P H Tyson & Associates.

1 thought on “Get Your Point Across”

  1. So it seems that this article is on getting across one’s point succinctly. This is an important technique for expressing one’s point of view in the work setting where we all seem to spend too much time in meetings. I caught myself rambling one time and sensed I was loosing the audience’s attention and not getting across my main point. I find direct answers with an some additional explanation and perhaps an example is a good way to stay focused.

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