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The 5-minute Presentation Guide

How to make five-minute presentations work

In this article we'll look at the tricks and techniques you'll need to master 5-minute presentations and make them work for you.

Five-minute presentation

If you follow the tips on this page you'll find it much easier to get people to agree with you and take the action you want.

In the last few years psychologists have discovered exactly what you need to do to get results. We've simplified their research so that it's easy to remember and apply. Now you can use it in the real world - Here are the 10 important points for 5-minute presentations:

(1) Get the Fundamentals Right

Your five-minute presentation must do two things:

  (A) It must give your audience the right information

  (B) it must persuade them to make the right decision.

The "Information" includes the facts and figures that you present. Obviously - you have to get those right. But the second part is also important. You have to persuade the key members of the audience that it's in their interest to do what you ask.

Every 5-minute presentation must include at least 2 minutes when you are not giving new information - you are persuading.

(2) Limit the Information

If you try to put too much information into the presentation you'll distract people and make it difficult to get your message across - so keep it simple.

To help people make the right decision you must help them understand that it's in their own best interest to follow your advice.

In other words, look at it from their perspective and ask: "what's in it for them?" Build your presentation around the answer to that question. Use the structure outlined in the next section to develop an argument that will appeal to them - one they'll find difficult to ignore or resist.

(3) Grab their Attention at the start

Professional presenters know they have only a few seconds to grab the listeners' attention so they structure their information. The first few words must spell out the main benefits or problems - followed by critical key-points.

The summary should always include a call to action. This will get people thinking about the steps they need to take when the presentation is over.

In another article on this site you'll see that people forget over 60% of what you've told them in the first hour. The solution is to "painting a picture" and include concrete details. You must give them more than just the facts.

(5) Target Key Points to Personality traits

For best results each key point must appeal to your listeners. It must "resonate" with them. You can make that happen by developing a profile of the key members of the audience. Identify their key traits.

Once you can analyse the audience you can use that knowledge to trigger the “hot buttons” in your presentation.

For example, if your key decision maker is interested in golf then you can use golf metaphors to make your key points - but don’t use too many.  

(6) Add Graphics

If the people you want to persuade are visually orientated then you should use graphics to make your point. At it's simplest this could be a printed page containing a photograph, diagram or graph.

However, if you really want to make your point you should consider using slides. NOTE: it is very important that the slides do not contain lines of text or bullet points.

If you are going to use PowerPoint or a similar presentation package you should have the computer, projector and software all set up before you start. There should be no delay getting started.

(7) Don't use too many slides

Don't try to include too much information in your presentation. You should have four or less slides - and they should be simple - don't use complex diagrams.

(8) Be prepared for Questions

If people are interested in what you're saying they'll ask questions. Draw up a list of the most likely questions and work out how you're going to answer. Keep you answers short and snappy.

(9) Use PPT Backgrounds

If you're using PowerPoint for your presentation than you should consider what backgrounds you're going to use. Don't use a default background and don't use common background that others have overused.

This is particularly important if you work in a company where a corporate background is used in every presentation.

(10) Practice

Don't ever walk into the 5-minute presentation without practicing. You need to be very familiar with the materials. If you know exactly what you're going to say you'll be more confident - and it will show.

I hope you find these 5-minute presentation tips useful.  Practice what you’ve learned and you will find yourself becoming more persuasive and getting more of what you want.

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Do it like the Pros

Presentation skills are always important. It's really worthwhile finding out how to do it properly. Good presentations take effort - but it's a lot easier if you know exactly what to look for - and watch other presentations (have a look at the TED talks on YouTube).

Make sure you practice - there's so much to remember. And if you forget anything crucial you'll have wasted everyone's time - and the golden opportunity to achieve your goals and further your career.

Key Topics

Here's a list of topics that you should study.
They will repay the effort

1. How to manage your appearance

2. How to move around the stage

3. How to speak

4. How to choose visuals

5. How to use technology properly

6. How to set up the venue

7. How to analyse the audience

8: How to use 9 presentation secrets

9. How to develop your content

10. How to construct the presentation

11. How to prepare for the presentation

12. How to give the presentation

13. How to complete the presentation

If you have a question about presentations - click on the button below (“click here”) and leave a message in the comments section of any of the articles.

Using the 5-minute presentation techniques

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