Restrict Speeches to Seven Minutes!!
Hi! And how are you all? It’s been a quiet month of July as it is usual to have a break for the Hari Raya holidays. It’s been a good time for me to catch up on work for my next book i.e. a HR book on complete HR documentation. It’s been a real challenge as I have faced lots of obstacles. However, I am motivated at the fact that this book will assist the Corporate World greatly as it will have almost all the documents that Heads of Departments should have i.e. from warning letters to the process of a Domestic Inquiry to a Counselling guideline. This will ease the work of the HR department considerably as it means that Heads of Departments will now have templates and documents to refer to rather than asking for it from the HR department!!
This month I want to talk about lonnnnngg speeches!!! I read the other day about a circular sent by President Joko Widodo of Indonesia that he wants all people holding public office, to restrict their speeches at events and press conferences to just seven minutes! As President Joko says “We should not talk a lot because there is much work to be done”. He also said that he did not like long-winded speeches.
I wholeheartedly agree with this directive because like many of you, I have been through many ‘never ending’ speeches which has left me frustrated, irritated and stressed. And the people giving these long speeches have not necessarily been politicians. I have seen long speeches being given at weddings, sports events and even at company dinners. The main problem with all these long speeches is that no one bothers to listen to them!! This is amply demonstrated by the heavy chatter going on whilst the speech is being delivered. And yet the individual concerned, continues his speech, without a care in the world. Research has proven that audiences have 100% concentration for only five minutes. It drops off but remains reasonably high for the next ten minutes but after 15 minutes the drop in attention accelerates rapidly.
As Winston Churchill (ex-Prime Minister of Britain) once said, “A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.
I believe that in public speaking less is always more. Leave your audience happy by keeping to that seven minute guideline. There is a great chance then that they will remember and be positive about your speech.
Thanks so much and I do hope you will all have a great month in August.