Presentation Time, Well Spent

“How long should my presentation be?” As a presenter it’s useful to know how much time you’ve got, upfront.

You could think of time as your presentation budget.

You may have to ask about it. You may be told it. Or you may have to decide for yourself.

Whatever the case, getting clear on your budget means you can decide what to spend it on.

You’ll come in on budget. And your presentation will be time well spent.

How you’ll spend it comes in different shapes and sizes:

Words: welcomes, middles, endings

Sounds: tone, pace, emphasis

Pictures: imagery, metaphor, story

Pauses: To. Let. Ideas. Land.

Invitations: to think, to interact

Spaces: for discussion, questions, observations

What you include depends on you, the audience and the subject of your presentation. And the reason you’re all coming together.

Some ways to treat presentation time:

Treat ‘a quick presentation’ with respect: The tighter your presentation budget, the longer it can take you to prepare and practise. There’s more editing required and more to leave out. What’s included has to work harder.

Treat your presenting budget as your audience’s money. This will make you more careful. Present within your means. Present what’s most important. Overspending earns you less interest (literally).

Treat yourself kindly. Practise and time yourself. Check that you’re within your presentation budget. If you find you’ve overspent, cut back on something. Speeding up is debt in disguise.

Act in the interests of time before you present. And your presentation time will be time well spent.

Thanks for reading.

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