Repurposing A Presentation For Multiple Occasions

The ability to condense any full-length presentation (whether it’s 7 minutes or an hour) to two minutes is a valuable skill to have. Two minutes is the perfect length for just about any question in a job interview or a business-networking event.

If you are in Toastmasters, you are familiar with Table Topics, the impromptu speaking exercise, where you have two minutes to answer a question on the fly.

But how many times have you taken one of your favorite 7 minute prepared speeches and condensed it into a two-minute answer?

Some time ago, I had prepared an hour-long presentation for a client, which showed key performance indicators for the recently ended economic quarter. I hopped on a plane to the client’s headquarters, and was shocked to hear the CEO tell me in the hallway: “Hey Kevin, I can’t sit in on your presentation. I’m short on time.”

Right there in the hallway, I condensed that hour-long presentation into 3 or 4 minutes – focusing on the biggest nugget of the presentation: an analysis that benchmarked the company against their competitors in a very challenging economic climate. That peaked his interest. “I look forward to reviewing your PowerPoint. Make sure you leave it behind,” the CEO said.

The formula for condensing a speech to its core – in many scenarios – is:
1. Outline the problem
2. Explain the solution
3. Demonstrate the result after implementing the solution

This formula fits perfectly into one of the most common job interview questions: Tell me a time when you’ve used your skills when tested?

In the end, each two-minute speech should wrap up with a single sentence containing a key message or lesson learned.

If you prepare a few of these succinct success stories to have at-the-ready, you will master the art of communicating under pressure in no time.

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