Hopefully, the Oscar winning acceptance speeches this year will be short. The organisers of the Academy Awards are aiming to keep extreme ’emoting’ under control. When they rehearse their spontaneous expressions of joy and surprise the winners are being urged to be “short, sharp and shiny.”
The target is 45 seconds or less. Given that most actors are much better with the words of others than their own, this is good thinking. When it comes to pitching something significant the temptation is to go long, often very long. This is where the marvelous TED.com has got it right, like so much else. In a TED Talk or video an “idea worth spreading” can take no more than 18 minutes.
Many business pitches could takes lessons from Oscar and Ted. The temptation is not so much to ’emote’ as to cram everything in, leaving nothing unsaid. Whilst the nature of the brief will dictate to some extent presentation length, generally shorter is more energetic, communication is crisper and your audience will take in more. And like you more.
“Short, sharp and shiny!”