The "2 Minute" Winning Way to Your Presentation

WHY leverage the 2 minute message in your presentation?

Creating presentations can be complex - but as much as we choose to. There are moments of thought-paralysis with vast amounts of information and the struggle of how to narrow things down to make it relevant and valuable for the audience. Ultimately we get stuck.

One simple strategy is to focus on summarizing your most pivotal message or points in just two minutes upfront. As you build strong foundational grounds for the audience, the two-minute key message will help you and the audience to stay anchored and you can build the rest of your presentation with the most relevant information. I call the 2 minute message as the "Anchor-message".

HOW to set an anchor-message?

1. Write down the main message you want to convey to your audience.

Think about "what matters". This could be last quarter’s sales or financial numbers, a new product idea, a system-improvement plan or strategy— whatever your audience needs to know. Make a note of it and stay focused on that anchor-message.

2. List the key points of your message in concise bullets.

For example:

- Our client management system which is about 10 years old is not able to handle the client tickets or queries. The result is slow customer response, resulting in average reputation in the market and low levels of new customer engagement and business development.

- Similar organizations are currently using much progressing and updated systems like... X

- Implementing system X would cost Y but pay for itself over time by providing Z benefits,  such as more satisfied clients, increase in sales, better engagement, experience and growth for departments and organization as a whole.

3. Set a timer for two minutes and practice speaking out the anchor-message.

Speak out the anchor-message as if talking to the audience as you practice. Notice, how is the message or ideas flowing from one to the next. Is it making sense? Is it setting the right foundation for the audience? Are you within 2 minutes time? If there anything else you need to say to keep the audience's attention?

4. Practice and improvise until you make it within 2 minutes or less.

Continuously improvise on your talk and anchor-message will you get it in a way that's simple, yet powerful for the audience to understand. Is the anchor-message too stuffed with information? Do you need to remove some information? Do you need something else instead? Is the sequence or the message flowing correctly? Is it telling the right story? (check out how to tell you story right)

Remember, if you can anchor a human mind within first 2 minutes of your projection towards it through a powerful message, the mind will listen to you with a longer span of time and make sense of it all. Practice is your key!

5. Once you've practiced and made it within 2 minutes or less, make that an outline for your rest of the presentation.

It is easy to be carried away overloading your anchor-message. Don't overload it so much that you have a hard time building on it later and the audience loses the interest and attention. Stay concise, stay focused, make it relevant and valuable for yourself, the audience and the organization. 

Now go and get on to it!

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Sahil Sharma
Talent, Learning & Leadership Development Professional | Certified Leadership Coach

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