Commanding the Stage- Part II

Presentation Basics


Question:  How long should my presentation be?

Answer:  18 minutes. 

According to the crazy smart scientists, 18 minutes is the right amount of time to persuade your audience.   Not too short, not too long. 18 minutes.

John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech inspired the nation in a multitude of ways.  He did his for 15 minutes and “they” say you should ideally be able to pitch your product, idea, thought, etc in the same amount of time.   

John F. Kennedy’s speech was 1,355 words to be exact.  And in my opinion, Kennedy captured the imagination of his audience in a short crafty way.  So lets consider this for a moment.

Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” 

Short, sweet, simple.  18 minutes.

Question:  Whats the best presentation format? 

Answer:  Rule of 3

According to these crazy smart scientists, people can remember three pieces of information best.  Add any more items and the retention rate will drop off considerably.  It’s a powerful idea to consider for both speaking/writing.  3.

When thinking about three things, consider what’s worked well. “They” say it’s these three items:

Step 1:  Create a twitter friendly headline.  The headline is the one single overarching message you want your customers/audience/whoever to know at the end of the presentation.   Ask yourself, “what’s the single most important thing I want my listener to know about?” This is your headline.  Remember make your headline short enough to be able to fit in a twitter post (which is 140 characters).

Step 2:  support the headline with 3 messages/points.  As the human mind can process 3 bits of information best, include 3 pieces of info that support the overall theme.  3 points.

Step 3:  Reinforce the 3 messages/points with stories, statistics and examples.  Add bullet points to each of the three supporting messages.  Just write a few words that help deliver the story. 

There you have it, 18 minutes and the power of 3.   Run with it.  Let me know how it goes.