How to Create a 15-Minute Presentation in 1 Hour (with graphics!)

Is it possible to create a 15-minute BBP presentation in 1 hour?

The answer we demonstrated in Friday’s BBP e-Lesson is yes!

Recently I invited BBP Online members to submit any presentation topic they chose, and I would work with them during an e-Lesson to transform their topic from abstract concept to concrete visuals while the countdown clock ticked away.

The ground rules were that I would have no pre-existing knowledge of the topic, and no materials or graphics prepared in advance – everything would be done LIVE within a 60-minute deadline.

BBP Online member Peter from Wheaton College in Illinois was the first to take me up on the offer. The purpose of Peter’s presentation was to persuade his audience of incoming freshmen at his college that they should get more sleep.

So at 9am Pacific Time, we began to take his presentation step-by-step through the BBP process from 0 to 60:

Step 1: First we zoomed in first on the Call to Action – what did we want the audience to do or think differently after the presentation:

Step 2: Next we defined and distilled his ideas into a tight and coherent set of three Key Point headlines. When you watch the video of the session, you’ll see how we went through an organic back-and-forth thinking process to distill his ideas to this seemingly simple structure. Writing this structure took 30 minutes – half of the entire session – but it was time well spent because this verbal structure would determine the visual structure:

Step 3: Then we completed Act I to engage his audience through the critical first few moments of the presentation:

Step 4: After we fleshed out the rest of the Explanation column to create a 15 minute presentation, we imported the story template into PowerPoint and applied the Key Point layout to the Key Point slides:

Step 5: Next we researched and licensed four stock photos from

Step 6: We added the Key Point graphics to the Call to Action slide to create a “visual summary” of the Key Points:

Step 7: We added a single photo to tell the story across the first four slides of Act I, which we planned to integrate with live Q&A to engage the audience:

Step 8: We carried the Key Point 1 graphics through its corresponding Explanation slides:

Step 9: And we did the same through Key Point 2 and its Explanation slides…

…and also through Key Point 3 and its Explanation slides:

Step 10: Presto! At 10am Pacific Time, we reviewed a complete 15-minute presentation we had created in only 1 hour!

Of course, if we had more time, we would continue to refine the graphics, and as you can hear on the recording, the technology slowed us down a few seconds. But hey, it doesn’t look to bad for a first draft, if I say so myself!

You may or may not be able to do something as quickly, but you can get there as you work with BBP over time.

As I mentioned to Peter, when he gives this presentation to different audiences in different forms, he’ll be able to use the same core graphics – which will make those upcoming presentations go even faster.

What do you think? Could you build a 15-minute presentation in 1 hour? Was this demonstration helpful? Would you like to see more of these? Post a comment and let me know!

(BBP Online members can view the complete Windows media video of the 1-hour session, download a copy of the story template, access a PDF version of the slides, and link to the iStockphoto lightbox of the images we used at this member page.)

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10 Responses to “How to Create a 15-Minute Presentation in 1 Hour (with graphics!)”

  1. Nice article. I use a similar process, but I like the way you laid it all out.


    Stanley F. Bronstein
    Attorney, CPA, Author & Professional Speaker

  2. Thanks for taking the time to put together such a thorough explanation here. I need to be reminded from time to time just how easy BBP stuff is for even the simplest of presentations.

    Thank you for reminding me to revisit this and reapply the techniques.

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  4. I love how you simplified this process and I’m going to try it on a presentation that I’m building. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Cliff Atkinson says:

    Thanks for the great comments! I’ll look at creating more of these “1-hour” examples – they seem to do the trick when you’re pressed for time.

  6. Steve Hards says:

    Excellent, Cliff! I haven’t watched the video yet, but how were you feeling when you were at the half way stage before getting to the slide creation? I think you deserve a bravery award!

    Steve Hards
    Creator Opazity PPT Add-in

  7. Troy Chollar says:

    Cliff, great testament and recap of the BBP format! Half the effort is getting a concise storyboard of the presentation (from the speaker/client), then my job assembling the visually dynamic presentation is MUCH easier.

    TLC Creative Services

  8. Cliff Atkinson says:

    Thanks Troy!

  9. Flash Inspired says:

    Nice presentation. If you wanted to save this in web format, you could import the powerpoint, narrate it and add multimedia using scate ignite. This way you can give the learners an review of what they learned with audio and visual cues. I’ve found this helpful for training and elearning.

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