The Quintessential Five Minute Presentation
Almost everyone has had to do a five minute presentation
at some point in their life. Whether at work, school, in the boardroom,
at a wedding or even a funeral a five minute presentation can be
a nerve wracking and sometimes arduous task.
But, let’s get one thing straight right off the bat…
forget the word “speech”.
A speech is the last thing you want to do. Why? Because a speech
is boring. And, no matter how good you are, it will always be boring.
You see, a speech makes it all about you. When in fact, it should
be entirely about the audience. Think about it for a moment, who’s
more important? You or the audience? I think you know the answer
Therefore you must do the one thing that most presenters do not
do and that’s; involve the audience. All of them!
A speech won’t do this. A speech will only bore them.
What should you do instead? Well, I’m about to give you the
secret to not only giving five minute presentations but five day
presentations… and it’s called “enroll and engage.”
In order to enroll and engage 100% of the audience 100% of the
time, you need to hook their minds. Therefore, you need to be constantly
When the mind hears a question what happens?
It wants to answer of course. Therefore, even if you don’t
know the answer a question will keep your mind active. A mind that
is active cannot let you descend into thought. You will always be
hooked or tuned in.
For example… Did you know that in my presentations I never
go more than 30 seconds without asking a question or soliciting
a response? This is called the art of suggestology. You must be
constantly making suggestions in order for the audience to fill
in the parts of the presentation that feels natural to their minds.
For example; instead of asking a question you could get the audience
to finish your ______.
Or, you could get them to repeat a word. A what?
Do you see how this works?
Ooops, I did it again. Didn’t I?
I could go on and on all day and I often do. As a matter of fact
I give courses that last from 9 am to midnight and no one ever gets
bored. No one ever sleeps. And, no one ever leaves.
So, the next time you prepare your five minute presentation think
of using questions. Think of using what?...
It’s easier to do if you know how to use gestures, voice
and facial expressions. Usually I lift my arms briskly with my palms
up to gesture to the audience to respond.
Audiences love participating. If you give them the chance they’ll
actually take over the presentation. That’s perfect isn’t
it? Let them do it. They’ll love you for it!
Here’s a couple of hints to get you started. At the beginning
of your presentation ask a couple of enrolling questions such as:
How many of you would like to learn the secrets of giving a great
five minute presentation?
Then, raise your arm to lead them to raise theirs. Say “thank
you”, then ask another question to get the rest of the people
who didn’t raise their arm such as; How many of you are too
shy to put up your hand?...
Thank you. Now welcome them and thank them for coming.
After that, ask permission to tell them a little bit about yourself
and your experience. It’s a great way to build trust and earn
the right to share what you’re about to share.
After your story, make a only a couple of points but, keep using
questions and suggestology to make them.
As you wrap up your five
minute presentation thank the audience for being such great
sports and sharing in the experience. I’m sure you’ll
see that this is a much better way of delivering a great presentation
than a speech.
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