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Useful Tips and Tricks to Help You Grow

2 min read

7 Minutes

July 16, 2008

Can you clearly articulate the value of your company/product and move people to action in 7 minutes?  "Sure," you say, "that's not that hard."  After all, you've developed an "elevator pitch" and a mission statement.

But wait. I'm NOT talking about a 7 minute conversation where someone can ask you for clarification or further description.  I mean a 7 minute lecture/demonstration from a stage, with a timer counting down, and a room full of people that may or may not be paying attention. Sound a little harder? That's because it is.

I just had the opportunity to watch 15 companies do this in a "shoot-out." Some were entertaining, some were educational, and some were boring as all get-out.

Here are my "rules" - my "dos and don'ts" - just in case you ever have the opportunity (challenge?) to do this...

Rule # 1 - 7 minutes is MUCH shorter than you think it is (especially when the timer starts).

Rule # 2 - Energy counts as much as content.  In a theater production, directors often talk about pushing energy off the stage and into the audience.  A great 7 minute presentation starts with high energy from the presenters and GOES HIGHER.  Many of the presentations I watched started off with a bang and got the audience's attention - but then fizzled.

Rule # 3 - If you decide to use a theme (costumes, game show, etc.), make sure to stick with it throughout the entire presentation.

Rule # 4 - PowerPoint DOES NOT work in this environment. Period. People will not have time to read, much less digest, what you put on a slide. Furthermore, it will distract them from what you are saying. If you are using PowerPoint as a script or prompt for what you are saying, you need to rehearse more. Show products, use video, use props, but do not use PowerPoint. Make it memorable and have a hook that the audience will remember.

Rule # 5 - Practice, rehearse, refine, practice rehearse, refine. I know people who spent 10 hours preparing for a single minute on stage. Presenting is hard. You can get 1 or, if you're really good/lucky, 2 key messages across in 7 minutes. Yes, that's it. What do you want your message to be?

A great presentation can have lasting effect - I have a friend who did one of these in a green spandex costume. He still gets comments about it - 15 years later!

If you get the opportunity to participate in a shoot out or showdown, grab it!  And then use the opportunity for all it's worth.

Written by leadingresults

Leading Results helps businesses stop wasting money on marketing and improves their business development results by putting POWER in their marketing. The POWER is the Processes, Organizational Support, Why (you do what you do), Expertise and Refer-ability. You get strategy, tactics and execution. We work with both individual businesses and businesses as part of a larger ecosystem. Be more profitable.

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