Making a Good Impression with Your 5 Minute Presentation

Many of us attend networking meetings where we routinely give our 30 or 60 second elevator pitches. Occasionally, we have an opportunity to give a 5 minute presentation. Here are 3 ways to reach your audience in those 5 minutes, and one approach to avoid.

Tell Your Story

We network to build relationships. You can jumpstart new relationships and strengthen existing ones by sharing the story of how you came to be in your business and why you are passionate about it.

A recent presenter told us how his father died young but, having prepared ahead, had an insurance policy that eased what would otherwise have been a crushing blow to his wife and family. Having seen the value of his father’s preparation the presenter vowed to help others similarly and eventually became a financial planner and insurance agent.

It was a personal and powerful presentation that positively affected the group. What’s your story?

Educate Your Audience

It’s hard to impress the room with your credentials in 30 seconds. With 5 minutes, though, you have time to explain an important topic that your audience finds confusing. Doing so establishes you as a helpful expert in your field.

A technology expert used his 5 minutes to remind us of the importance of backing up our computers. More importantly, he provided helpful tips about the best way to do so depending on the nature of the business. Guess who audience members will call when they need technology assistance.

Offer an Opportunity

Think of your audience, not as potential customers, but as fellow business-persons who are trying to impress their own prospects and customers. If you can use your 5 minutes in a way that makes them more valuable in their own networking, they will appreciate it and reciprocate.

Explain a product or service that their prospects might find appealing. Then allow them to offer it at at a discount based on their relationship to you.
Finally, Don’t Do a 5 Minute Elevator Pitch
At this point it probably goes without saying, spending your 5 minutes on an extended sales pitch is about the least effective way to use your time.

How do you make sure your 5 minute presentations reach your audience?