Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Book Review: 15 Minutes Including Q&A

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“Most business presentations stink. Really Stink. They stink in a way that drains souls.” That’s the mantra by which Joey Asher operates, and he wrote the book 15 Minutes Including Q&A: A Plan to Save the World from Lousy Presentations to help solve the problem. “From now on, all presentations should be no longer than 15 minutes. Half of the time is for the prepared message; the other half is for Q&A. 

Following the 15 Minutes Including Q&A model helps you focus on the audience’s key business issues. What are the three things you want the audience to remember? Give clear direction; your presentations will resonate with the audience. Here are the five steps for the presentation part (seven minutes) of Asher’s 15 Minutes plan:

  1. The Hook – 30 seconds: Describe the business issue.
  2. The Preview – 30 seconds: A quick overview that details how you plan to solve the problem. Give the audience three thoughts they must remember above all else.
  3. The body of the presentation – five minutes: Go into detail about each of the three key points (or “bumper stickers”). Give a few sentences of explanation, and then give evidence in support of your point.
  4. The Recap – 30 seconds: Remind the listeners of the three key points.
  5. Call to action – 30 seconds: End by telling your audience the next steps.

The “secret sauce” of Asher’s plan is the second half, the Q&A. “Q&A is the element that fills the gaps and gives a robust feel to your presentation.” This is the opportunity for you to answer all the audience members’ questions and give them confidence in your message. It also helps them understand your message and intentions more clearly.

The Product Management Perspective: Product management presentations usually focus on product features and direction, and rarely focus on the key business issues. In most cases, delivering seven-minute presentations will not only get your message across more clearly but also rivet the main points more clearly and strongly in the minds of the listeners. Plan short presentations and then engage your audience in dialog to fill in the gaps and answer all their questions. They will appreciate you for it and your value in the organization will increase.

One thought on “Book Review: 15 Minutes Including Q&A

  1. Pingback: Book Review: 15 Minutes Including Q&A « Lead on Purpose | eMega Deals

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