I remember the first time I was asked to give a 5 minute presentation…man was I lost! I’m no stranger to public speaking and killer presentations, I thrive on it, but like most presentations out there mine usually fall between 30 and 60 minutes.
It’s a new era….
We are now in the era where everything is expected 5 minutes ago. We want our food “fast”, our web browsing to be top speed and travel time to be cut by half so why wouldn’t we want our presentations to be just as quick?
People are quite busy these days and that’s something you as a speaker need to keep in mind. A drawn out presentation will most likely lose your audience’s interest and have them reaching for their smartphones.
Less info = More work?
So you think having to fill up a 5-minute slot means less work on your preparation? Think again! The fact that you need to talk less does not translate to less work, on the contrary, I have found my 5-minute presentations to be as difficult as my longer speeches.
I personally tend to go through the same process for a 60-minute presentation as I do for a 5-minute presentation. The difference comes in pinpointing your most valuable pieces of information and then creating a 5-minute presentation around that. This is harder than it sounds. Naturally, we believe everything we say in a 60-minute presentation is essential and cannot be taken out. But is it really?
The proof of the pudding (is in its eating)…
Are you still not convinced that a killer presentation/speech can be delivered in 5 minutes? Well here’s some proof for you. I’m going way back on this example! It’s one of the most important speeches ever given the, “Gettysburg Address”.
In 272 words President Lincoln “reiterated the principles of human equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence and proclaimed the Civil War as a struggle for the preservation of the Union sundered by the secession crisis, with “a new birth of freedom” that would bring true equality to all of its citizens. Lincoln also redefined the Civil War as a struggle not just for the Union, but also for the principle of human equality” (Wikipedia). And in 2 minutes no less!
If he could do it….
If President Lincoln was able to fit passion, truth, and vision in 272 words and 2 minutes I’m sure you’ll be able to cut your presentation down to 5 minutes and still get your point across. Just remember to keep it short, to the point and wow them right from the start! After all, the clocks-a-ticking!