Talking faster is not an answer to time constraints

This week I attended a conference that featured a 90 minute session. The first two speakers took 35 minutes each, leaving the last speaker with only 20 minutes for a planned 30 minute talk.

First of all it is important to stick to the allotted times. The overruns meant that there was no time for questions. Questions and challenges are a critical part of a presentation. You want the audience to react. You want to understand what they are not understanding.

The last speaker chose to give his 30 minute presentation in 20 minutes by talking faster. The slides became a hopeless whirlwind.

A major theme of this blog is to build a presentation "up" and not to "cut down" (see earlier tip). The first step to developing a 30 minute presentation is to develop a two minute presentation and then build up with a 5, 10, 15 minute presentation. If you have developed your presentation properly, you will know how to cut back if the time is less than you planned. Talking faster only confuses the audience. Resist the childlike urge to say everything you know.

More often than not, the time you have for a presentation will be less than originally planned. Go into every presentation with a battle plan for cutting content, not speaking faster

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