Shorter, Targeted Presentations = More Impact

All afternoon, I’ve been trying to record a video on a subject about which I know lots. I talk for over 30 minutes because there’s lots to say.  But reviewing the results, I suspect that’s not the best approach.

How much information, after all, can anyone take in, particularly during this time of information overload and multitasking?

How long can you really listen to someone telling you things? Particularly if it’s just a voice recording with slides.

How Long Should an Online Presentation Be?

Based on my own consumption of online material and my studies of effective communication, here’s my educated guess…

A 15 minute presentation with clear, well-organized slides making no more than three main points is probably worth much more than an entire hour packed with information.

Rethink, Revise, Redo.

I’m heading back to the drawing board.

This time, I’ll aim for short, clear, crisp and useful. That’s going to be my motto in developing online course material from here on out. Perhaps I’ll try a 20 minute limit rule.

The question is not how much I know or have to say. The real question is what’s going to be most helpful to the people who listen.

And you can help me figure that out through this week’s TRY THIS.

TryTry ThisThis

Give thought to how you best learn online

What kinds of courses do you take online? And what format do you find most useful for learning?

Think of an online course or webinar you’ve taken before. When you are glued to the screen, hungry for every word, what does that content look like? Is it shorter than 10 minutes, or longer? Is it visual? Is there lots of movement (i.e., video), or is it more slide-based? Is the pacing faster or more calming?

Please do report on your experience in the comments box below. I’m so eager to know. Your comments will help me improve my own material, so don’t be shy!

Photo Credit: Copyright racorn / 123RF Stock Photo

  • Beth Raps

    I “knew” I had nothing to share to this b/c I’m so longwinded and mostly love that about myself…but I eschew Powerpoint, prefer reading to visuals, and in general, am a “wait for beta,” skeptical adopter of much of the 21st century. But reading the Thiagi Gameletter I realized I had value to add here, b/c an almost poetic brevity is the hallmark of all their communiques, to wit: http://www.thiagi.com/games/2015/3/1/apr-fast-toc-for-april-2015 See especially the “Shrunken Stories” piece, and notice how brief (and thus inviting) their “Help Our Blog” piece is!