Know your limit.

Do you ever feel rushed when delivering a presentation? Or nervous beforehand wondering if you’ll have enough time?

Time wisdom

There’s a massive difference between a presentation intended for 10 minutes and one intended for 30 minutes. The first step to presentation success is identifying how much time you’ll have to present. Once you know your allotted time (or timeframe), consider subtracting approximately 15 – 20% for questions afterwards. The remaining time becomes your window to comfortably plan your presentation delivery.

More often than not, presentations tend to be overloaded with information as opposed to underloaded. In fact, cramming too much information is one of the leading causes of failed presentations. Keep in mind that time goes quickly when you’re presenting and getting cut off is a sign of poor preparation. When you’re designing your presentation and organizing your content, knowing how much time that you’ll have to comfortably speak about your topic is essential to the planning process.

True delivery time

Rehearsing is the beta testing for presentations and speeches. There are so many benefits and advantages of rehearsing that they warrant a separate article. One of the chief benefits is the perfection of timing. Rehearsing your delivery before your speech or presentation enables you to identify the total duration, as well as the duration of individual content points. Once you have an idea of your true delivery time, you can begin to pare down your presentation by removing nonessential content. You’ll be left with your key content in a comfortable window of time. What’s more is your confidence will skyrocket because you’ve prepared to ensure you won’t exceed the time limit (or exhaust anyone’s patience).

Less is more

Time to spare is better than rushing or being motioned to wrap up your presentation. Most professionals in your audience will appreciate brevity and conciseness. You can always extend the question period if you run short and address any outstanding concerns or points. And remember: you’re not “running short,” you are “ahead of schedule.”

I wish you continued success in your future speaking endeavors!

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