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33 Steps to Great Presentation

Three Minute Presentation: elevator pitch, practice makes perfect,

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You really can do all this in three minutes

You've gone through the book, acted on the advice that suits you best and applied it in a number of
presentations. You're seeing improvements in your confidence, the quality of your content, and the
reactions from your audience.

Now's the time to convert your skills and new knowledge into the ultimate; a Three-Minute Presentation.

You might ask yourself, "Why is this important?" It's because on some occasions you'll be called on to
make the classic 'Elevator Pitch.'

You never know when you might be in the presence of an influential person for your project, career
or own business. Generally those influencers will be busy people. If you can get your message across
in three minutes, the speed and efficiency alone is impressive and highly appreciated, because very few
people can. You give a clear message: "I respect that you are busy so I'm adapting my story to your
situation, not mine."

It sounds daunting. A presentation in just three minutes? But believe me: if you've followed the suggestions
in this book, you already have all the tools required to do it.

Prepare an elevator pitch

First, go back to Chapter 11 and review the Post-it note method of preparation. Remember how it's all
about finding the three main points and building from there? Use the Post-it note approach to prepare
the structure of your short presentation.

Next, think again about the Power of Three. For each of your three main issues, you might be able to
mention a maximum of three sub-points within the time available.

How to find them? Make sure you've done plenty of coffee-machine talk. The ability to describe concisely
what you are working on is exactly what you've been developing while talking to your colleagues for
snippets of two or three minutes.

You'll find if you look back that there are always a couple of killer messages that everyone just 'gets', and
these should feature strongly in your short version.

In 90% of cases, this will not be a formal presentation with visual aides: your body language, attitude
and tone of voice will make all the difference. Remember how little they will remember about the pure
content? More than ever in the Three-Minute Presentation, your passion for your subject will have an
influence on the audience response.

If for some reason it is in a formal setting, use images instead of lots of words. Single words or one short
phrase on a slide can also be powerful, and the design of the slides should be as minimalist as possible.
In three minutes, the amount of information displayed should naturally be limited. A maximum of three
slides should be your guideline as that will focus your mind.

Here is a suggested formula;

  • Tell what you are going to explain in one sentence.
  • Break it down into three main points.
  • Tell about the first – using a maximum of three sub-points.
  • Do the same for the second.
  • Do the same for point three.
  • Finish with; "to summarise, the three main issues are…"
  • Finally, close on a very clear call to action; "Therefore I propose we invest X thousand in…",

"based on this, our target market share should be X%, and we should invest in these three activities to reach it."

Write your content on Post-its, decide the three messages and their sub-points, and construct the bones
of your Three Minute Presentation. Now you're ready to practice.

Prepare an elevator pitch

Practice makes perfect, again and again

Ideally, do the following exercise with a couple of trusted colleagues. Get them to open the timer on their
phone with a loud alarm bell, set for exactly three minutes, and tell them to clap as soon as the alarm
goes – no matter where you are in your presentation. Regardless of whether you are halfway through a
sentence, or not even halfway through your whole presentation: they need to start clapping, stopping
you in your flow.

Do a quick review to see how far you got, and to assess how satisfied you were with your pitch. Then
do it again, straight away. And again

.After four or five run-throughs, you'll find you are coming closer. The pressure to shorten your sentences
and get to the point is high when the clock is running and that can help replicate the pressure you'll feel
when in front of a CEO or high-flyer. Ask your colleagues for honest, critical feedback to help you improve.

Another way to practice is to film yourself. It's brutal and hard to see yourself on camera, because you
notice every odd movement and sound you make. But do it anyway: it's all in the interests of improving
your pitch.

"To write it took three months. To conceive it took three

minutes. To collect the data in it? All my life."

F. Scott Fitzgerald (author)

The Three Minute Presentation: Summary

  1. . Use the Post-it note technique to prepare.
  2. . Focus on the Power of Three to break your message down into three essential points.
  3. . Seek out the most effective words and phrases you've found while test-driving your talk at the coffee machine.
  4. . Practice one killer sentence that defines what you are proposing.
  5. . Be passionate and expressive.
  6. . Finish with a clear call to action: what do you want them to do next?
  7. . Try it out with colleagues and friends.
  8. . Film yourself to see how your presenting looks.
  9. . Set a timer and practice delivering your message within three minutes, again and again.

  1. Preparing Your Presentation: presentation summary, power point,
  2. Delivering Your Presentation: gain confidence, express yourself,
  3. Three Minute Presentation: elevator pitch, practice makes perfect,