That time I facilitated brainstorming in a 3-minute presentation

Yes, I really attempted to do brainstorming during a 3-minute presentation.
Technically, I failed. It was one of my better failures. If your criterion was that I was respectful of the timebox, either it was a spectacular failure or permission of the Product Owner makes it all ok. It actually ran for about 5 minutes.
I was using the "10-12 minute" 1-2-4-all exercise with the silent writing phase (1) being 30 seconds long. The thought was that each phase would be just 30 seconds long, truncating the typical idea collaboration steps to simply choosing our favorite idea.

The concept

1 - silent written individual brainstorming (30 seconds)
2 - pair up with another person and pick your favorite idea (not necessarily written before) (30 seconds)
4 - pair up those pairs into foursomes and pick your favorite idea (30 seconds)
all - as a group, pick our favorite idea (I didn't expect we'd have time to do much with this.)

The play-by-play

  • I trimmed all of the side-comments out of my introduction including the one about the process being like March Madness for suggestions.
  • The introduction lasted more than a minute. I was already behind schedule!
  • Dispensing of supplies went smoother than I expected - since I was doing the introduction at the same time. I neither tripped nor threw pencils or paper.
  • We held to the 30 seconds of brainstorming silently on paper. I only needed to repeat the topic once; which was amazing given the lack of redundancy in the introduction.
  • Switching to pairs is much slower than I dreamed. I think I cut most teams short in the transition to foursomes.
  • Around this time, I checked with the host (effective Product Owner), he was fine with running over. He really wanted to hear the results.
  • The results from the teams were great! We had great suggestions from people who were new to the event that will help orient everyone. We had great suggestions on how to diversify the content of the event. Some people had even extrapolated beyond the silent brainstorming ideas.
  • The moment I heard the first suggestion, I completely forgot that I was going to have the group vote on our most favorite if we had time. It no longer seemed important.
  • We gave the host all of our brainstorming sheets. I know he will pour over our less favorite ideas for weeks to come.

The results

All-in-all, it was a nice experiment to run, and a nice failure to have under my belt. Next time I have just 3 minutes to present, I will actually need to talk about my company; or maybe, I can work with the Product Owner before the presentation to change the rules of the game...
What do you talk about in a 3-minutes presentation anyway?