Communications Insight For More Inspiring Leaders The 27,000 Minute Presentation

The 27,000 Minute Presentation

 3rd Aug 2018

There's a good chance that... 

At some point in your career, you've given a 45 minute presentation.

What are the chances of you giving a twenty seven thousand minute presentation?

Answer: high.


How is that possible?!


A few weeks ago, I did precisely that.

I was the opening speaker for a major industry conference. We had a room full of professionals from across the world of food & beverages - and by my reckoning, they seemed pretty engaged.

So what?

Well, the point is there were 600 people in the audience.

If you buy into the idea (as I do) that presentations are all about the audience, then my 45 minute presentation wasn't a 45 minute presentation at all.

It was 45 minutes multiplied by 600.

That's 27,000 precious minutes of 'executive attention'.

(27,000 minutes also equates to 450 people for an hour; 900 people for half an hour; 225 people for 2 hours.) 

Consider the opportunity cost.

Even a conservative estimate of the cost to employers for paying those 600 people to invest that '45 minutes' runs into the tens of thousands of pounds.

That's time (and money) well invested, provided there is positive, meaningful change as a result of the presentation... Just one simple, practical change implemented well can trigger exponential uplifts in value in the medium-term. 

But despite this...

For too many professionals, presentations are a mere task.

A chore.

A box to be ticked... reluctantly.

Little, if any, real thought is given to what the presentation (or indeed meeting) is really designed to achieve.

Chances are that the leader's potential to leverage that most precious of resources - people's time - is squandered as a result.

A failure to appreciate the true scale and potential of an audience's collective time is one of the biggest issues with presentations in today's workplace.

(Frankly, an obsession on my part with tackling it helps explain why I've dedicated the past 10 years of my life to helping people get a lot better at it!)

After all, that window of opportunity you gain as a presenter is so precious! That opportunity to connect with multiple customers, clients or colleagues... all at the same time... LIVE. 

You have an opportunity... 

To engage them - to challenge them - to surprise them - to reassure them - and most importantly, to inspire them to greater things.

What's the true value of your audience's mindshare in your next presentation?

It may not be 27,000 minutes; perhaps it's half of that - or a quarter. But it's NEVER just 45 minutes.

What change might you make?

Onwards - and speak soon...


Simon Bucknall
High Impact Speaking Expert
Finalist, 2017 World Championship of Public Speaking

PS If you liked this article please circulate it to others who might be interested! Click on this link to get a free eBook packed with tips on effective speaking, if you haven't already received it!

What I've appreciated most has been the increased thought the team has been putting into how they come across and what they say. Colleagues in other teams have already commented on the improvement in both skills and confidence.


Emma Truswell | Deputy Head of Services, Open Data Institute (ODI)

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