I attended an Internet industry conference today and witnessed presenters in the final of a startup competition: a few minutes to present your company to a huge audience with a ruthless timer ticking away.
- Putting your entire 30 minute story on 1 slide does not make it a 5 minute presentation
- Accept that you cannot tell all: ruthlessly cut nuances, side tracks, feature lists.
- "Waste" some time upfront in establishing a connection with the audience. Maybe a quick hand voting. In the first few seconds people are "trying to figure you out" and are not paying attention to the content. "Is that a Danish accent?" If you give the punch line during this time, It will not stick
- Assume your audience has absolutely no clue (about your company), but also assume that they are very intelligent at the same time. No buzz words. Clear explanations.
- Use facts, numbers. But use them only once. Five minutes is too short a time to repeat the succes of that major customer you won last week
- 500-1000 people is a huge crowd. Leave memorable contact details. "Out booth is outside", or a very simple email address.
- Answer questions very, very briefly, don't go off on a tangent, or repeat the presentation you just gave.
- Don't run out of time. Definitely don't make your punch line when bells start ringing and the screen behind you starts flashing to remind you that your time is up. Again the punch line will not stick