5 tips to keep your presentation on time

Effective presentations stay on message and on time

Along with offering the wrong material, one of the bigger mistakes a presenter can make is running too long. Some presenters take a cavalier attitude toward time, especially if they’re speaking in the evening. Regardless of when your presentation occurs, stay on time. It shows respect and a level of professionalism. These tips will help you.

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Develop an outline and script The framework for your presentation, an outline creates order and structure. Your notes or script, developed from your outline, keep you on message and on time. Speakers who try to “wing it” during either the research stage or the presentation itself often end up with an incoherent speech that wanders aimlessly and goes well over the allotted time.

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse The best way to know whether you’re on time is to do a full rehearsal. Don’t quicken your pace or cut corners. If, for example, you want to use 10 minutes for a group exercise, stop your rehearsal for 10 minutes. Walk away, and do some chores or other tasks to burn that time.

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Public speaking tip – Check microphone before presentation

An effective presentation requires that you account for all elements. One that can be overlooked easily is the microphone at the lectern. Presenters tend to assume that the mic is set just right for the presentation. You shouldn’t assume that.

If you’re using the lectern microphone, test it prior to your presentation. You’re interested in the microphone’s “working area”; that is, the range at which it will pick up your voice well.

Some mics require you to be rather close. Other times you can stand in a normal posture while you deliver your presentation. (If you can adjust the mic gain or position, do so. Sometimes you can’t make any adjustments.) The performance of the microphone dictates how you stand and whether you are able to move about at the lectern.

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