The Three Tees of talks

If you give conference talks as part of your DevRel work, there are many ways to structure them. One of the first ones I remember being taught is what I'll call The Three Tees:

Tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em
Tell 'em
Tell 'em what you told 'em

Apparently, the origin of this quote either came from Aristotle or some preacher.

How do the 3T's translate to a talk?

Start with the point – don't bury the lede. You can think of this as delivering the punchline right away.

Then, tell your story. Your supporting arguments, evidence, anecdotes, etc. Bring the audience along to show them how you arrived at your point.

Finally, reiterate your point, now with more context.

By no means will this ensure your talk is good – that requires a lot more effort. But it's one frame you can use to begin designing a talk.


Thanks to my high school homeroom teacher Mr. Meisch who first passed this down to me. I always kept it in mind when I first gave talks at the start of my career.

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