February 13, 2007

What can you convey in three minutes?

I read this article about San Bernardino County supervisors choosing to keep their three-minute public comment time limit during meetings.

My first thought was "Lucky!" (as Napoleon Dynamite would say). In some counties, speakers are given only two minutes.

Apparently, some county residents are unhappy with the three-minute rule.

Here's what I think about that: you can say anything you need to say in three minutes. With careful preparation and content that is concise, to the point, and mentions only the most critical points, anyone can speak effectively in three minutes.

Of course, if you go to a supervisors' meeting unprepared and/or intending to share in minute detail why you agree or disagree with an agenda item, you will be disappointed with the time limit.

Make your speech as effective and powerful as you can within the time limit - you can still get your message across, and you will stand out from the other community members who ramble on with no point and run out of time. You will be heard and understood, and that's the biggest reward of public speaking!

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4 comments. Please add yours! :

TorAa said...

you are so right. If you can't do it in 3 minutes, where are your focus?

The challenges preparing 3 minuter, arise when the speakertime gets down to 2 minutes during the session.
Many people then start panic Reading Fast-fast their written manuscript. Result: What was said here? With a little traing: two minutes are in most cases enough.


Lisa Braithwaite said...

Yeah, if you can do it in three, you can do it in two! Of course, it gets harder as the time ticks down, but if I had something really important to say to the board of supervisors and they only gave me a minute, I could do that, too!

Anonymous said...

Granville Toogood has a thing he likes to call the 8 second drill. He has his clients start at 3 minutes and narrow their point down to 8 seconds. Now, that's a clear and concise message. Thanks for the great post.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Scott, I love that exercise!

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