Yesterday I was on the school run when I got the call that got me all excited on my Monday afternoon.
An invite to speak at this swanky event – with people from Parliament and the local Mayor, you name it.
As I got excited about this opportunity, I went into my usual briefing questions helping me to understand the audience.
Then came the shock 😳moment, I asked “how long do I have?“ they replied – two minutes. I’m thinking, ‘Are they serious? Two minutes?’
I instantly said nope, that’s not going to work! I am a professional speaker, my goal is to impact and leave the audience with practical actionable steps and new ideas that they can implement. 🤨
I managed to Negotiated to five minutes.
As I drove home I was muttering under my breath two minutes? 😏
During bedtime routine with the boys, I’m deleting duplicate pics on my phone, and there it is, The Martin Luther King’s iconic image.
The one where he delivered a speech that changed the world.
It hit me, I recited my favourite part of the speech in less than 30-seconds….
‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.’
Got me thinking about how we take so long to get to the point and think that it’s adding more value, the more we say.
Reflecting on this I had a Flashback to my TEDx prep, where the 18-minute limit intrigued me.
I uncovered some insight that after 20 minutes, our brains face Cognitive Backlog.
Too much info causing overwhelm, it’s where info stack up.
This changed my perspective entirely.
Now, in every talk, I try my best to stick to the 20-minute mark, followed by Q&A.
No extending because beyond that, stress creeps in.
Leaders, take note – those marathon team calls? Not as productive as you think.
After 20 minutes, it’s fatigue, frustration, irritation. Time for a shake-up.
I’m excited about my upcoming 5-minute talk this weekend.
It’s the first of its kind for me, and I’m cutting out the fat blah and I’m forced to focus on the vital points.
Let’s make our words count!
Looking for a speaker for your next event here I am 🙋🏾♀️