The 3 Minute Speech
I have been talking to lots of clients recently about 3 minute speeches. Selection speeches for clients wanting to become parliamentary candidates. The speeches used to be 10 minutes before the 2005 election. Before the 2010 election they were all dropped to 5 minutes. Most associations now ask for 3 minute speeches. Or sneakily they say there will be no speech. Until the hopefuls arrive and the Association Chairman asks them to speak for 3 minutes about why they would be a good candidate. So a 3 minute speech.
Introductions have to be short and grab the audience. Personal stories need to be slimmed down to the essentials. Humour and passion and great delivery are usually mandatory. Beginnings and endings need to be practised. Of course local knowledge needs to be displayed too – without it clunking around as a tick-list.
Crafting a Speech
Churchill famously said something along the lines of being able to give an hour long speech off the cuff, a ten minute speech needing a day’s preparation and a five minute speech needing days of work. If Churchill conceded he needed days for a 5 minute speech – normal people will need more work to craft a winning 3 minute speech.
This 4 minute TED.com speech by Mark Bezos shows you how to pause and enjoy rather than rattle, how to smile and engage, how to be self-deprecatingly funny, how to take your job seriously but not yourself and how to use a personal story to make a powerful point. It is brilliant in every way and deserves the standing ovation and the cheers at the end. It is a lesson in storytelling – politicians and business people should watch and learn.
(Praise should also be given to ted.com for their collaboration with WordPress making embedding a video easy enough for me to do!)