Four ways to keep presentations short

Before your next speech or presentation, consider: the most popular YouTube videos last barely four minutes. Many are under 60 seconds. So if you want to keep the audience’s attention, how long will you talk?

Four tips to keep it short:

  1. Determine three messages to highlight. Any fewer, and your presentation seems thin. Any more, and people start checking their phones.
  2. Find the best facts to support those messages—anecdotes, case studies, test results. Don’t tell people why they should believe you. Show them.
  3. Rehearse out loud. If you’re running out of breath, shorten your sentences.
  4. Practice by reading backward. Start with the last sentence, searching for words to delete. For instance:

“Do you really need every word you’ve written?”

Better yet: “Do you really need every word?”