Thursday, December 18, 2008

60 Seconds

What would you do if you only had 60 seconds to make your point?

That happenned to me the other day... I was among a group of speakers at a meeting where a very important decision was to be made. However, due to the number of speakers and time available, we were each given a total of 60 seconds to make our points. I easily had ten minutes of comments that I thought I 'needed' to make.

I am accustomed to conducting training workshops that typically last between one and five days. When I give keynote addresses, I usually have up to an hour... But, 60 seconds??? How much can be said in that amount of time? You might be surprised... as I was.

That situation forced me to filter out every piece of unnecessary information possible... all of the excess... all of the elaboration... all of the fluff... so that I could accomplish my goal without going over time. Despite only having 60 seconds, I gave an introduction... involved the audience... made my main point... and concluded with a strong call to action. A friend once gave me the following advice:

"Make it as long as necessary, but not a word longer."

The next time that you have a point to make, think about all of the things you would cut out if you had to fit everything into one minute. And, then decide if you really need as much time (and as many words) as you originally thought. Sixty seconds can be a 'lifetime'.

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