Don’t Let  Sidebars  Become Slide-bars!!


Recently I was listening to a speaker address an audience of about 300 people. I had heard this speaker before so was prepared for his style. However, I was not expecting him to be so unclear and scattered in his presentation. Internally, I kept asking the question, “What’s your point?”  Although his content was good, his way of communicating was not “sticky”. He failed to use anchors to drive home his points (whatever they were) and even worse, continually added sidebar notes to his comments.


As a speaker, my desire and passion is to connect with, transform and empower my audience in some way. What’s your desire? What do you want the audience to think, feel and do after hearing you speak? Before you speak it is important to be clear on what you want to leave with your audience. Focus  follows clarity. The clearer you are on the points you want to leave with your audience, the more focused you become on what needs to be a part of your message, and what doesn’t. This serves as a filter to organize your content.


Too many sidebar comments can create a cluttered speech leaving the audience bouncing back and forth from the main message to the “asides” in their thoughts and emotions. Choose sidebars carefully and limit them to 1 or better yet, none.  Inserting sidebars can quickly take your audience sliding down tracks of thinking that are away from your main points and leave them feeling disconnected  from your message.  Don’t let your sidebars become “slide-bars”!


Keep letting the REAL  U…..Speak Through!

Lisa Vanderkwaak M.Sc.

Certified  World Class Speaking Coach

REAL U Institute™

“Equipping you to Communicate with Passion, Purpose and Transformational Impact”

To book Lisa to speak at your next group training or as a Keynote,  contact her at


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