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How to Write an Amazing 5-Minute Speech Quickly

Posted 5 years ago

Public speech – these 2 words are enough to make even the best and the brightest at any company get sweaty palms and shaky knees. It is easy to understand why – we are definitely not all born natural public speakers. It takes A LOT of confidence to get up in front of a room full of people and carry the spotlight. In this week’s story, professional speaker Patricia Fripp offers tips on how to put together a fabulous 5-minute speech. With Patricia’s tips, this should help ease the pressure of any public speaking you may have to participate in.

How to Write an Amazing 5-Minute Speech Quickly

by Patricia Fripp

Want to deliver a memorable 5-minute presentation? Want to put it together fast? If your goal is to create an incredible 5-minute presentation and put it together quickly, I suggest you look within the body of your longer presentations and pull out one well-developed idea.

For example, most speakers tell stories in their presentations, and many speakers tell great stories. What world-class speakers understand is that when you tell stories about people, you need to let those people speak. World-class speakers use dialogue in their storytelling. They don’t simply report on what people have said. Instead they actually include people’s spoken words. Do that, add a good opening, and close with a call for action. And voila! You have a memorable presentation.

Don’t report on the dialogue; use the dialogue. Don’t say, “I had a conversation with my boss and we were talking about . . .” That’s reporting on the dialogue. Instead, deliver the dialogue. Pat Wynn called and said “Patricia, as you know we are a 2 billion dollar software company with aspirations of being 20 billion. We have just bought our major competitor and are having a very important kick-off sales meeting with 1500 sales people at the Bellagio. 40% of them were acquired. They did not choose to work with us, so this a very important meeting. We want them to know they are at the right company at the right time, and the strategy is sound. The work you’ve done with our engineers and leaders has been fabulous. Now we want you to work with our president.

“He’s not a bad speaker. He’s an engineer, a little shy, brilliant, but we don’t have any corporate rock stars. We want you to write him a speech and turn him into a rock star. And you have 4 hours.”

Bernard was a magnificent gentlemen who charmed me from the moment we met. I started by saying, “How do you do? If you had time for one sentence rather than 45 minutes, what would you say?” He said, “This is a brand new company.” I said, “Good, write that down. ‘Welcome to our brand new company.’ Now, whose idea was it to be a company?” As we informally talked through his speech, people came around saying, “It’s been 5 1/2 hours, and Bernard’s still with Patricia.” That was because he had started to realize the impact he could have. And then we began talking about corporate citizenship. There had been a tsunami recently. The sales people had donated $360,000 to help, and the company had matched it. It was obvious that Bernard was passionate about this. He believed in corporate responsibility and corporate citizenship. Unfortunately his speech was beginnning to get boring.

If we had aleady developed a deeper relationship, I would have been quite comfortable saying, “Your speech is getting boring.” But this was the first time we had worked together, and I wanted to boost his confidence. He didn’t realize he could be a rock star. So I asked, “Bernard, how do you explain corporate citizenship to your children?” He said, “It was the day after Christmas, and I sat both of my children down and said, ‘You are very lucky children. You have generous parents, and you have even more generous grandparents. Perhaps you would like to give us one of your gift certificates or one of your presents, and we’ll take the money and give to the children who no longer have homes.'” He said, “I was so proud of my 14-year-old son. He came back the next day and said, ‘Papa, how much do I give? I could give you all of my savings, all of my pocket money, and all of my Christmas presents, and it still wouldn’t be enough to make a difference. What do I give?’ And Bernard said, “I told him, ‘Oh, you never give it all. You just give enough that it hurts a little.'”

By now I hope you agree that adding dialogue to your stories makes them come alive and helps you add emotion. I challenge you to revisit every story and make your characters speak. This is Patricia Fripp with my best suggestion for how to put together a 5-minute presentation.

Follow Patricia Fripp

Patricia Fripp is known as THE Presentation Skills expert! Companies hire Patricia when they want to gain the competitive edge that comes from perfecting conversations and presentations.

Named “One of the 10 most electrifying speakers in North America” by Meetings and Conventions magazine, Patricia delivers high-content, entertaining, dramatically memorable presentations. She has won and been awarded these designations by the National Speakers Association: Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), CPAE, Hall of Fame keynote speaker, and the Cavett Award (considered the Oscar of speaking). Patricia is a past president, and the first female president, of the over 3,500-member National Speakers Association. She is a member of the highly prestigious Speakers Roundtable, an invitation-only group of highly regarded professional speakers, authors, and consultants. Patricia teams up with her brother, legendary guitarist of King Crimson, Robert Fripp, for Fripp and Fripppresentations on “How to Be a Hero for More Than One Day” and “Beginner to Master.” She is the author of Make It So You Don’t Have to Fake It! and Get What You Want! and co-author of Speaker’s EdgeSpeaking Secrets of the Masters and Insights Into Excellence.