Be very wary of using Powerpoint in a presentation and be very aware of the Ten Minute Rule.

Your audience will mentally check out of your presentation after 10 minutes

So say Forbes, the megaphone for all things business. Becoming a great speaker requires a plethora of natural skills and learned mastery including:

  • Authenticity
  • Attitude
  • Storytelling
  • Adaptability
  • The Wow Factor

To avoid your audience reverting to candy crush saga on their devices after 9 mins and 59 seconds it’s important to remember the Ten Minute Rule of Presenting.

Use Videos

Don’t leave videos till its too late. That initial period of audience anticipation and energy should be capitalised upon so bring out the big guns early on. We currently live in a very visual world one where practically anything can be – and should be- conveyed through the medium of moving pictures.

Whether it’s statistics, instructions, customer feedback or future projections, video can convey this information in a more dynamic, attention capturing way.

Bring The Demonstration Forward

Most presentations shovel out the whys, where’s and when’s first followed many moons later by the what and the how. WRONG! Bring out the demo of the product or service at the beginning of the speech. This will grant the audience a clear picture of how all the pieces fit together.

Introducing Secondary Characters

Every 10 minutes, introduce a new face or a secondary voice. Steve Jobs famously introduced his rival Bill Gates at precisely 4 min 29 seconds into his 1997 speech when Microsoft bailed Apple out of impending bankruptcy. The trend continued throughout his successful speech career.

Engaging Your Audience

Long gone are the days where a speaker paced up and down across a stage throwing out copious amounts of information to an audience equipped with paper and pen. Maybe our attention span has shortened due to technology bringing news and data instantaneously to our fingertips, or maybe we just got bored of taking notes. By engaging your audience either through humour or props the energy stays up and the audience stay focused.

Speaker in front of audience

Audience Participation

Why leave the Q&A till the end of the presentation? By getting the audience involved throughout, you can be assured that you will still have their attention right at the end. People generally love to ask questions and feel involved so make sure they feel comfortable doing so. Leaving prompt cards on tables or suggestions on screens will let your audience know you are not only open to audience involvement, you are actively encouraging it.

Throughout my many years of presenting, I can honestly say that no two gigs are the same. Therefore, it’s important to hone your craft and practise, practise and practise. Whether it’s a 15 minute pitch to a potential client or a 90 minute shout out to an auditorium of c-suite attendees, the premise is the same:

  • Be Entertaining
  • Use Props Efficiently
  • Keep to the Ten Minute Rule
  • Know Your Audience

For some tips and ideas on optimising your Presenting skills take a look at my top rated video guide

Presentation Tips From An Award Winning Pro Speaker– on special offer right now.

With this certified course you will learn many of the tricks I use in my award winning speeches and more importantly help you feel more confident.

In my next few posts I will look at how hiring a speaker can enhance business for all sorts of reasons. For more information on speaking, check out my website-

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