One Minute, Five Breaths, One Presentation

One Minute, Five Breaths, One Presentation

Many people focus on the one minute presentations they give as a way of getting instant referrals. If you have this attitude you are doomed to fail.

Your one minute presentations are part of an ongoing education process you are engaged in with your fellow members, not a quick hit to get sales.

Networking is about education. It is about building long term relationships founded on trust and knowledge. You do this by giving your fellow members knowledge of you as a product, by the repetition of messages, and introducing ideas in small bite sized ideas.

You need to consider your one minute presentations not as instant sales generators, but as group’s in the marketing manual about your company. Each is self-contained and informative but the overall picture is only gained by experiencing many presentations. This approach will lead to long term and sustained success, helping you develop your business and helping the members to understand and then refer you to their contacts.

What is the Most Effective Way to Deliver a One Minute Presentation

This chapter is about a suggested structure for one minute presentations. I say suggested, as I am the last person to tell you this is a magic formula, there isn’t one. I am going to suggest a method for giving your presentation structure and allowing your fellow members to understand your products and/or services. The method you use to deliver your messages is entirely up to you.

Basically, I want you to think of it as learning the three chords you need to play tunes on a guitar. Once learned you then take these three chords and write great songs.

Remember, with building blocks, you can build skyscrapers.

Your networking group is great, all members working for each other’s benefit, helping and giving. The problem is during the one minute presentations section of the meeting, you are one amongst many, and unless you deliver a presentation filled with interest, or impact, you are going to be lost in the minds of the members and visitors under a flood of other presentations.

I always describe to my marketing customers that we need to throw salt into people’s eyes in order to get their attention. This doesn’t mean that we only do hard hitting, controversial work, but it means we do not just go with the flow or do what is expected.

It is the same with your one minute presentation. The structure and plan you have to educate your fellow members needs to be planned well in advance.

Plan Your Presentations - Do Not Wing It

You need to grab the attention of the crowd, and snap them out of their unfocused thinking. You need to deliver a message which will make people look, think and remember.

As a member you will already know that 80% of the presentations in your group are ill prepared, unfocused and as a result reasonably ineffective.

Competing against these members isn’t hard. Yes I said competing. If you sat in front of 40 adverts shown in one block, they are going to blur into one, and there will only be one or two you will remember. You need to be the one your group remembers.

Next I want you to understand how long a minute can seem to those watching you, and how little information you can pass on in one minute.

Okay, first exercise. Take a watch and sit silently for a minute.

1 …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 60

Welcome back.

When nothing is happening, a minute seems like a very long time doesn’t it.

Next exercise, I want you to repeat out loud in a normal speaking voice, as many times as you can in one minute, the phrase:

"Today I want to tell you about our widgets and their uses. Not many people sell interesting and special widgets like ours.
They are available in green or blue".

Keep track of your number, talk clearly and focus on every word. Do not rush it is not a race to see who can say it the most times.

You will probably have hit 5, possibly 6, repetitions of the phrase.

On average, I have found that in one minute I can take and use five breaths. If nervous, five breaths will be less than a minute, if unprepared five breaths will take longer, especially when you start using the popular phrases, ‘umm’ and ‘err’ (try counting them at your next meeting, you will give up because the members use them so often).

If we say that in one minute we have five statements we can say, how do we break it down to help us plan?

Your one minute presentations need to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. I know it sounds obvious but you will see so many people at your meeting who start well, waffle too much, go off message end up out of time, and have no ending to their presentation.

Planning will give you the subject for the presentation, but remember, the presentation must focus on one topic. That doesn’t mean you can’t mention you do other services, but it means you don’t dilute your message by losing the focused topic within a list of products or services. One of the methods you might consider using might be:

‘Among our range of products, covering all your computer needs, are our range of LCD monitors. I would like to tell you about this particular model …’ (a good presentation also uses a prop – so take the model with you)

This shows you offer a range without having to waste time or filling the presentation with a list. People will build up their own mental list of your services as each week you tell them something new and interesting.

You will see at the end of this chapter an outline of a one minute presentation. Okay, it is a piece of paper with the numbers one to five written down the side, spaced about an inch apart - but simple as it is, this is an effective way of planning a one minute presentation.

Let us look at the sections of the minute and what the numbers on the blank sheet represent. You want a beginning, a middle and an end. If any element is missing your presentation will have less impact. The following is the structure I am going to examine and expand upon.

Remember, the guiding principal about what you say in each of these areas is that you use one breath only per area.

1. Self-introduction, subject introduction
2. Statement to attract interest, or set a problem
3. Expand with facts, or explain your solution
4. Recap the capabilities of your product or service
5. Ending, call to action, Memory Hook

1: Self introduction and subject introduction
The first part of the presentation sees you introducing yourself, your company, and your company’s activities.

Unless it is relevant, don’t waste time with addresses or telephone numbers. I have seen people spend 20 seconds giving detailed descriptions about their office location, and six different telephone numbers, and then have to rush to deliver the rest of their message.

The members have your cards and the visitors can collect them if they want. I am a firm believer of not saying your telephone number in your one minute presentation (many of you will disagree, but that is your right).

2: Statement to attract interest or set a problem
This is where you introduce an idea or a problem that the membership might not have thought of. You can do this by quoting your industries accident statistics, an interesting and quotable fact, or just making a statement that makes them think. The idea is to get them focusing on the problem and how it could happen to their contacts or themselves.

3: Expand with facts, or explain your solution
This is where you expand on the opening statement with facts, and introduce your solution to the problem. This associates you with the problem but also as a solution provider. A positive association with a problem makes it easier for them to recall and refer, when the time is right.

4: Recap the capabilities of your product or service
Restate the service you have just spoken of, or recap the problem with the focus on your ability to solve it. This will focus the member’s minds on you and your ability to help.

5: Ending, call to action, Memory Hook
Finish with a call to action (call me now, e-mail me today for details, etc.) and your Memory Hook.

The next debate is whether you read verbatim, or memorise your presentation. I always write down what I am going to say in well-spaced easy to read type, but when I stand up to speak I tend to use the five paragraphs as memory triggers and say roughly what is on the page. This is never word for word what I prepared, but is still the message I want to deliver. The three parts I do not deviate from are the opening sentence about my company, the Memory Hook at the end, and counting & being aware of the five breaths.

It is different for everyone, but I do suggest writing it out initially and having it with you so you don’t get lost. Having a plan for what you want to say is going to vastly improve your ability to deliver a message your fellow members can remember, and refer to when needed.

Keeping in mind your presentations need to be interesting, self-contained, and part of an ongoing education system for your fellow members is hard, but by planning your subjects and preparing your presentations, you will deliver effective and memorable messages which make it easy for people to refer you, which after all, is what it is all for.

Example : One Minute Presentation
Good morning. I am Tony Allwood from W3 Web Design. We provide web design services in the Waikato, and beyond. Today I would like to talk to you about coffins.

Did you know that you can have a personalised coffin, even have your picture printed on the outside? I found this out while working on the website for Matamata funeral home.

As forward thinking funeral directors, they brought us in to help create a tasteful, yet effective promotional tool to highlight their services, with the focus on pre-planned, and pre-paid for funerals. Something only fifteen percent of us do.

The website is self-editable, and was created in four weeks to replace an old and tired website, created some four years ago.

So, if you know anyone who is dying to make more impact with their website, then get them to call me, Tony Allwood, W3, the local Company making the net work.

Remember that to increase the impact of your presentation you need to use a suitable prop. I think from memory I held up some pre-planned funeral brochures (not a coffin).

How you plan and deliver your presentations will change and evolve over time. Your method of delivery will also change as you gain more confidence in public speaking. But don’t fall into a rut and give boring presentations, make them memorable.

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Download the '1 minute Structure' PDF and use t to start writing your presentations.