Applying TheSkimm Rule To Presentations

TheSkimm is the name of a news service which delivers a brief e-newsletter each day to provide readers with the most brief summary of all the important news. This strategy has been quite successful for the company; The Daily Skimm. TheSkimm currently has 4 million subscribers which goes on to show the demand for concise information nowadays. When making presentations you can make use of the same method by skimming details to deliver targeted information to your audience. Here is how!

theskimm rule in presentations

Use The Rule of Three

In a previous post we explained how the rule of three can make a statement more powerful, with examples from famous orators. You can make use of the rule of three by emphasizing on three key aspects of your topic. You can divide these three aspects in three components of your presentation, i.e. the beginning, middle and end. Finally, you can reiterate your message using a sentence with three key parts.

The below image is an example of how the rule of three to get your message effectively across an audience.

using the rule of three method

The Principle of Recency

The Principle of Recency implies that people will remember the most recently learned things. When applied to presentations, you will require using the most concise form of your key points at the end of the presentation. When using this principle, you can also make use of the rule of three.

You can learn more about this concept from our post about the Principle of Recency.

recency in slides

Using the Elevator Pitch Method

Elevator pitches are short presentations by which you can get your message across to an audience in a short period of time. This type of presentation is often used by sales personnel to try to sell a product or service to a potential customer during a short elevator ride.

You can create short elevator pitches by making use of presentation templates that can help you create brief presentations with a lot of imagery. You can see our list of the best elevator pitch templates to get started with your elevator pitch or short presentation.

Even if you’re not engaged in sales, an elevator pitch format can help you keep your slides brief and concise.


Avoid Death by PowerPoint

Death by PowerPoint is a famous term used for presenters who overdo their slides with too much content or by making slides that seem dull and boring. Death by PowerPoint can be avoided by keeping your slides brief and fast paced, by using a subtle mix of animations and transitions, and to be ready for any unforeseen event. For example, you should be able to keep your audience engaged even if you suffer a technical failure or a delay in display of slides due to a system lag.

death by powerpoint

Use Infographics to Summarize Data & Trends

Charts and tables are often hard to follow and absorb for any audience. However, infographics can be a fun way of explaining information in a graphical layout that is easy to comprehend. You can create infographic slides by making use of Infographic Presentation Templates or web applications like Infogram and Piktochart.


TheSkimm rule can help you make more effective presentations and enable your audience to remember the key message of your presentation. TheSkimm rule is a far more targeted approach then filling up your slides with too much content that no one is going to pay attention to.

About Farshad

IT professional, communications specialist and Blogger!

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