Maybe Size Does Matter

In his wonderful TED talk, Rory Sutherland points out the high cost of the EuroStar bullet train from London to Paris. It cut only about 40 minutes off the trip.

Instead, he suggests it would have been cheaper to hire the most beautiful male and female models to walk the aisles of the old train serving free glasses of Chateau Petrus. Passengers would have wanted the trip to last longer, and the Euro Zone would have saved a ton of money.

As a presenter, don’t be suckered into “shorter is better.” A longer talk is better if you’re hitting relevant points, engaging listeners with germane stories, deciphering complex data into tangible terms, and otherwise serving up the speaker’s version of Chateau Petrus.

And stick around for the end of the 16 minute talk for some brilliant advice you can apply to your speeches and presentations. It may be hard to believe, but our business presentations are the kissing cousins of poetry and drama: they succeed when they enchant, and they are capable of making new things familiar and familiar things new.



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