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.

how to give a speech, effective presentations


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: Grab attention with your opening

Public speaking tip: Powerful opening grabs attention

One of the keys to a successful presentation is a strong opening. You grab the audience’s attention and get them into your “world” from the start. A strong opening piques interest in your presentation, and the audience wants to hear more.

Too often speakers begin with “Thank you, Mr. Jones. It’s great to be here. I’m honored to …” and so on. That portion is OK but should come after your attention-grabbing introduction.

You have four techniques to choose from: question, statement, anecdote/story and quotation. Use one of these public speaking techniques the next time you craft a presentation.

Question: Develop a question based upon your theme or main point. I have used these as openers:

“How many of you enjoy public speaking and take advantage of every opportunity?”

“When you hear the term ham radio operator, what images come to mind?”

Then give your “thanks” comments and proceed into your presentation.

Statement/Declaration: For best effect, select a powerful bit of information from your copy. Let’s say your presentation is on world hunger. You could start like this:

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