Keep to 18 minutes to make an impact

By Startup Smart

March 3, 2017

Need to pitch a new idea at work? Eighteen minutes is all you need, says keynote speaker and author of Talk Like TED Carmine Gallo.

Based on scientific research and the strict time limits placed on TED Talks strict, Gallo claims “eighteen minutes is the Goldilocks zone of presentation length.”

Writing for Inc., Gallo says if John F. Kennedy can inspire a country to reach for the moon in 18 minutes, you can capture the essence of your business and grand vision in the same time.

“Spending too much time results in cognitive backlog, which makes it hard for your audience to remember your key points.”

Neuroscientists discovered in the early 1980s that people are affected by ‘cognitive backlog’ where the ability to process and retain information becomes more difficult after a certain period, says Gallo, which is an important consideration for all presenters.

And as TED Talks curator Chris Anderson puts it, 18 minutes is “short enough to hold people’s attention … and precise enough to be taken seriously. But it’s also long enough to say something that matters.”

“The brain gets bored really easily,” says Gallo.

“You should re-engage the audience at the 10-minute mark.

“Showing videos, giving a demonstration, and telling stories are simple ways to bring your audience back from their daydream.”

This article was first published by The Mandarin’s sister publication, Startup Smart.

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