Ever wonder why a six-year-old can remember every line from an animated feature but adults have difficulty remembering key points from a business presentation? Look no further than the mastery of timing. Content is important, but without timing, it’s all for naught.
Filmmakers, television writers and successful televangelists know something the average person doesn’t. People pay attention in 30 to 45 second cycles. Designing information to match this tuning in and tuning out is what holds attention.
The mind tunes out when something in the environment is static. We rarely pay attention to the constant hum of a fan, or the picture that is a regular fixture in our home. We pay attention to change. This change needs to occur by the 45-second mark.
Opening statements that go on past a minute lose the attention of the room. The purpose, structure and call to action should all be delivered in under 45 seconds. You can then provide a pause so your listeners can process the information.
So the next time you have to prepare a presentation, get out your stop watch and make sure you deliver information in 30 to 45 second sound cycles. In entertainment – and in business – timing is everything.