Ten Minutes Of Fame

Ten Minutes Of Fame

In an average group of 30 members you will get to do your ten minute presentation every 10 months or so. It is essential that you use this time correctly. The trouble is, generally, 70% of the ten-minute presentations you see at your group are so poor or badly thought out, they are almost worthless.
They are often entertaining and I am going to make no friends by saying this, but I think most people don’t understand the purpose of the ten-minute presentation. Let me start by saying what it isn’t.

It isn’t the chance for you to tell the Chapter your life story, and how you ended up in business. It isn’t the chance for you to give us a hurried overview of everything your company does. It isn’t the chance for you to explain the geopolitical nature of the world, and how that is affecting how well or poorly you are doing. All of these are great and interesting, but they are the things you should be telling people about in your regular recon meetings.

What the ten minute presentation should be used for is to focus on reconfirming the best way to look for, and find, referrals. Like one minute, ten minutes is not a long time when you think about it.

Many members have said to me that before they did their ten minutes they didn’t know how they were going to fill all that time. But what usually happens, and you would have seen it in your own group, people invariably run out of time, don’t finish everything they wanted to say and then they say at the end how fast it went.

So, if the focus of the ten minutes is to improve your fellow member’s referral spotting skills, how is this achieved?

There are two methods I have found to be very effective.

  1. Using props
  2. Using case studies

Before I go any further, if you are preparing for a 10-minute presentation and are in the middle of creating an all singing, all dancing, electronic presentation, can I politely suggest you stop and rethink it? Death by PowerPoint at breakfast is the curse of modern business networking groups. How many times do people rely on technology which lets them down when they come to use it?

How many times has a group sat and waited whilst the poor presenter fights desperately to get the thing working? Unless you use PowerPoint and the equipment you are planning to use regularly, I would suggest there are far better ways of delivering an effective 10-minute presentation. Given the choice of high or no tech, go for no tech and stretch your imagination muscles.

Using Props

As in one minute presentations, using props is an effective way to help people understand your message and who to find referrals from.

Some of the best presentations I have seen have been by mechanics, computer repair people, and plumbers, who by passing round a broken part of a common item, explaining how they work and break, and then how their service prevents that breakage, helps members to understand the way they work which in turn helps them to understand how to find referrals.

For example, you could explain to them how to check (safely) if something needs fixing or maintaining. Passing on hints and tips, and reinforcing them with a prop or two, will arm your fellow members with the knowledge they need to find you referrals, but don’t swamp people with too much.

Using Case Studies

Another way to help people understand how you solve problems and how they can find you referrals is to use short (notice the word short in that sentence) case studies. A good rule of thumb is to use one case study that people will come across in their daily lives on a regular basis, it might be mundane but it is normally your bread and butter work. One case study that is an example of something novel, or unusual you have done to show your creativity, and one case study showing your capacity to meet deadlines.

Treat each of the case studies as if you are preparing them for a one minute presentation. If you need to use images to get your message across it is often better to pass photographs around the table, or if your budget will allow prepare a pack for each member and hand them out just before you start talking.

Often when you overrun on your ten-minute presentation you do not get a chance to take questions from the membership. You should plan your presentation to last six minutes, and this will give you plenty of time for questions. No, you are not wasting time allocating so much time for questions, a good question session allows you to show your expertise. One way to twist this on its head is to do a six-minute presentation and then instead of asking for questions from the membership, you ask them questions about what they have just listened to. This is a great way to reinforce your message and get people thinking. You can add some fun by giving little rewards of candy or other gifts for correct answers.

However you do your ten minute presentation, remember you need to make it engaging and interesting. It takes some doing to put a room of 30 members, who have just woken up and had their first coffee of the day back to sleep, but I have seen it done by members who don’t realise that standing up and reading a ten minute speech word for word is not a good 10 minute presentation. Take a risk and do something interesting.