How to Shorten Your Presentation without Losing Impact

You can shorten your presentation without losing impact.
Don’t panic. You can shorten your presentation without losing your impact.

Imagine, you’ve done all the work to prepare and rehearse a major presentation and at the last minute you’re told, “I’m so sorry, but we’re short on time. Can you give us the five-minute version?”

Is it possible to shorten a presentation without losing all of your impact? Yes. Don’t panic. After all, a sound bite is often more powerful than a lengthy dissertation. Here’s how to condense your speech without losing impact:

1. Don’t apologize or mention that you usually have much more time. Find confidence in the fact you’ve prepared. You can still get your central message across in five minutes.

2. Begin quickly. Start with an attention-getting statement such as, “Your job won’t exist five years from now,” or “I will convince you the best action to take is…”

3. Use a strongly visual story. A very brief story can illustrate your point – how it is now, how it will or could be. Choose a story so vivid that the audience can “see” it.

4. Divide your five minutes into three parts. For example, you might present a problem, your solution, and the payoff.  For example: “The best advice I can give you in facing this challenge today is…” Then, let your story illustrate and support your point. In closing, your words should emphasize the positive outcome your audience can expect when they go with your solution or approach to the challenge.

Fripp Virtual TrainingBecome a great presenter quickly, easily, and cost-effectively on your own schedule. I’m here for you 24/7 through Fripp Virtual Training.

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Just a few more of the many resources on to help you deliver a presentation with impact:

Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp works with individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.