one big brilliant idea

What’s your OBBI – your One Big Brilliant Idea?

November 16, 2018

Stop signs are red.  Police lights (in Europe) are blue.  Warning signs are yellow.

But as every child knows, if you mix all those bold colours together, you don’t get a multicolour tutti-frutti, you get a boring brown mess.

It’s the same with talks and ideas.  Talks are a mess when they contain too many ideas.  The thinking gets muddled and your audience gets confused.  Great talks and great presentations generally have just One Big Brilliant Idea (your OBBI).

Finding that idea is the hard part of preparing a talk.  When you have so much to say and so many interests in your audience, how do you plan your talk for maximum impact?

We tend to find that this big idea emerges during the early planning stages of your talk.  The hard part is identifying this big idea.  This is where outside help can be of value.

Let me give you an example.   A few weeks ago, we were called in to help one of Europe’s top financial regulators create a speech about corporate culture in financial services firms.  A few days before, I had been preparing the management team of a cheese maker before they spoke to their shareholders. That set me thinking . . .

Together we came up with a big idea, and the financial services speech started like this:

“When you are making cheese, you start with a culture.
And that culture needs the right environment to flourish.
If you get the right culture and the right environment then you create the greatest cheeses.
It could be a stilton or a camembert or a cheddar.
But, if you have the wrong culture or the wrong environment
you end up with a vat of rotten milk. 

 “It’s the same with corporate cultures…..”

Making a link between cheese making and financial services is certainly unusual, but that is why the idea works so well.

So when you are planning you next talk, check your One Big Brilliant Idea against these five tests:


Tests for Your One Big Brilliant Idea (OBBI)

  1. Is your OBBI unusual – even counter-intuitive?
  2. Is it simple to grasp?
  3. Is it familiar?
  4. Is it memorable?
  5. Is it concrete (rather than abstract)?

If it passes these tests, you probably have a great idea around which to build your talk.

But if you are struggling to find your OBBI, we would be delighted to help.  It’s surprising how an outsider can give you a fresh idea that completely transforms your talk.  A few hours with one of our coaches could save you dozens of hours of heartache  – and a missed opportunity to really make an impact with your target audience.

So, if you feel that you need One Big Brilliant Idea to make your next talk work, call Louise Angus, our client services director, on 020 7018 0922, and find out how we can help.

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