The most effective speakers are the best editors. Think about it. With the inaugural address that lasted for fifteen minutes, John F. Kennedy roused the nation. In those fifteen minutes, Kennedy shared a vision that transformed social policies of the ‘60s.
In his book, A Thousand Days, Arthur Schleslinger says, “Kennedy was skilled at tuning up thoughts and eliminating verbal excess.” Kennedy would use a one syllable word instead of two or three syllables to say the same thing. He would use “foes” instead of “adversaries” and so on, to keep his speeches as short and succinct as possible.
The most influential business leaders keep it brief, and yet they can be powerfully persuasive. Did you know that all it took was two minutes and six seconds for Steve Jobs to get his audience pumped up about Apple’s new portable music player, the Apple iPod.
Above all – the world’s greatest business communicators know that the secret to grabbing and keeping their audiences’ attention from the start till the end is: brevity.
Now ask yourself, do you really need more than 5 minutes to tell the story behind the product, service, company, or the cause? Because anything longer than 5 minutes and your audience will impatiently start looking at their watches.
Truth be told, it’s all about brevity. All you need to do is capture and hold onto your audiences’ attention by making your presentation shorter and the message memorable. Great business communicators always end their presentation with an inspiring note to get their audience to share their enthusiasm.
Here’s why: The memorable the message, the easier it will be for your audience to act upon it.
And, how do you make it memorable? You tell your audience that you, your product, and your company can improve their lives. You need to give a strong reason for your audience to determine whether they simply “need to have” your product because it is nice to have, or they “must have” your product.
What is your product or service?
What problems does it solve?
How is it different?
Why should the audience care about it?
Answering these questions will help you give potential customers a reason to learn more about your company. Just like most influential business leaders who always end their presentation by stirring their audience to action, you'll be able to touch the hearts of your audience with something memorable.
One of the world’s greatest business communicators, Steve Jobs, spent the better part of his speech or presentation making an emotional connection with the audience. During the iPod presentation to the media, he even had singer Sarah McLachlan perform one of her songs. Believe it or not, the presentation became the most talked about event of the year.
Some deem this as sheer showmanship and so be it. The greatest business presentations always begin by grabbing their audiences’ attention and leave them wanting for more.