12 Ways to Help You Manage Your Speaking Time

Speakers should know this by now — always end your speeches on time, or if possible, ahead of time. Beat the clock if you can! This will create a better impact for your audience and won’t leave them bored and fidgety. By being on time, it means that you have prepared your speech well and that you have carefully chosen only those details that your audience will find important, interesting and compelling. If in case you are still having a hard time managing the time of your speeches, here are twelve things you can do to help you be more punctual and efficient during your talks.

1. Practice with a timer. Practice is still the best way to find out if your material is enough to beat the clock.

2. Have a plan to cut material. Prepare to take out parts that won’t contribute much to your talk.

3. Double down. Prepare two materials: one long speech and one short speech.

4. Prepare a detailed handout. This way, you won’t have to give out all the details in your speech. Your audience can just refer to your handouts to get all the detailed information.

5. Arrive early. This will give you time to rehearse, time to check if all equipment and tools you need are ready, and time to breathe and focus on your speech ahead.

6. Reconfirm your speaking time. This way, there won’t be any room for logistical errors.

7. Let the audience know of any time changes. Just in case there is, this will show respect for your audience’s time.

8. Monitor your time during the presentation. You can have someone, such as an assistant, signal you how many minutes you still got. This way you can adjust your pace.

9. Wear a watch. Try to look at your watch inconspicuously every now and then to check the time and adjust your pace accordingly.

10. Allow time for questions. This is one of the most important aspects of your speech. By allowing time for questions, your audience will feel more motivated, engaged and compelled to take action.

11. Invite people to approach you afterwards. Just in case there are still some points that need to be clarified, your audience won’t feel like you’ve left them hanging.

12. Seek permission to go beyond your allotted time. If really needed, then go get that permission.

To get more insight and ideas on how to go about these guidelines, head to:

Speakers: It’s About Time (and How to Manage It)

About presenternews
I write about presentation skills and provide news from the presentation skills blogosphere.

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