How To Make A 10-Minute Presentation When You Need 40 To Do The Job
Some people really love to talk
One of the best courses I had in college was an English class on the 18th Century Novel. My professor assigned one book per week and would ask one question per book for which we were allowed to answer on only one typewritten, double-spaced page. The problem was that the question asked could be answered more easily in 20 pages than in one. That was the beauty of the course. I learned to write succinctly.
The same techniques used for writing succinctly can be applied to speaking succinctly as well.
While most novice speakers would probably prefer a 10-minute presentation to one lasting 40 or 50 minutes, many speakers find the 10-minute presentation harder to make than a longer version. Some people really love to talk.
The answer to cutting down your lengthy presentation is to ask yourself this one question: what must I say to get my point across? By means of an outline, list what you need to cover. Once you have those bullet points, build on them with care.
The percentage of what your audience actually remembers is minimal; thus, say less, stress what is important
Limit your anecdotes, and then say what is important again. Ten minutes is short.
Allow one minute for your opening, one minute for your closing, and take those eight developmental minutes and get to your point concisely.
[While I certainly advise you to limit your anecdotes, I don't want you to eliminate them completely. A couple of well-chosen anecdotes can often sell a product better than numbers or data.]
If you are making a sales presentation on a new brand of coffee, for instance, that has only recently come on the market, the 10-minute presentation is not the time to talk about the history of java. If, on the other hand, you are describing the phenomenal success your coffee has had in a very limited time frame, then the history of your brand might be extremely influential in your ability to close the deal. In a situation like this, I would even consider opening the presentation with that data since it is such a wow factor.
Another piece of advice in making the 10-minute presentation is to stick to your script.
This is the one time you don't want to get side-tracked. Once off your target target, you will lose precious time, so avoid adding that extra thought that comes to mind as you are speaking.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels is a voice specialist and president of Voice Dynamic. Offering corporate and 2-day workshops throughout the US and Canada, Daniels launched Voicing It! in April of 2006, the only video training course on voice improvement. For more information go to: http://www.voicedynamic.com