by Marianne D’Alessandro | Featured Contributor
Okay, I admit I have a pet peeve. Everyone’s time is valuable and yet, I see so much time wasted building up to the point of a presentation. Make “the point” clear right from the beginning.
This morning, I watched a webinar replay. I wasn’t able to watch it in “real time” and was thankful for the replay. I listened for more than 20 minutes and still had no idea what information the speaker was passing on. Lots of talk about credentials and a testimonial of how valuable it was to someone else, how excited they were about coming to Toronto in a few months, but 20 minutes in and I still haven’t heard exactly what the purpose of her business is and how I can apply it to my business.
I call this the false start. You’ve started your presentation, you have the audience’s attention, and then you go off in all different directions and forget to tell the audience the point:
- what it is you are selling,
- what it is you are offering,
- what the action you want from them is.
Get to the point! Why make your audience wait?
- Tell them immediately what it is you want them to do.
- Tell them immediately how your product or service works and why it’s beneficial to them.
- Then tell them the credentials, the testimonials, and share your stories to back up your point.
I see this over and over again especially with videos. We’ve grown to love making and watching short podcasts and videos which is fantastic. Yet, they are often preceded by long introductions or do not offer concrete valuable information. My favorite are the workout videos – 20 minute workout to save you time. And yet, you’ve watched for 5-7 minutes before they actually start the workout. How is this saving me time? Every time I want to use this video, I need to find the start point or watch the first 5 minutes of wasted time. Doesn’t seem like a lot of time but if I do it every day for a week, that’s 35-49 minutes of valuable time!
The average adult attention span has plummeted from 12 minutes a decade ago to just 5 minutes now, according to a Fortune.com article from last year.
I encourage you to “get to the point”. Put yourself in the audience’s shoes and give them the valuable information upfront. It adds value to you, it adds value to your business and services, and you’ll be appreciated for it.
Keep Calm and Get to the Point!
Marianne D’Alessandro knows how busy an executive can be. Marianne has been an Executive Assistant for 30+ years. She has supported many, many, many senior level execs and is now working toward her own virtual assistant business. Her goal is to save time for her clients by looking after their admin tasks. When it comes to public speaking, she conquered her fear more than 20 years ago by taking, and now instructing, the Christopher Leadership Courses of Canada. The highlight for her was traveling to China to train instructors to teach the course there! Marianne loves seeing people take the challenge and conquer the fear by “taming those butterflies!”