Perhaps the most ridicules and annoying question a presenter can say is “How are we doing for time?”
As a member of that audience how might you feel when you hear that? What might you be thinking at that point?
The first thought that invades my mind is “Oh, crap – he’s not done yet and he’s going to go overtime.”
The second thought is, “Where is the door and why didn’t I sit closer to it?”
When the speaker blurts out that confession, there are three messages it sends to the audience:
- The speaker is unaware and perhaps unconcerned with time.
- The speaker is not in control of their presentation.
- The speaker is oblivious and uncaring about the audience.
Don’t make this mistake because it could derail your presentation.
When you are the speaker:
- Be clear on how much time you have
- Prepare a presentation that is shorter than the allotted time
- Before you are introduced ask the MC, “What time should I finish?”
- Be prepared to cut your presentation
- Set up a clock or timer so you know where (when) you are
The audience wants you to know the time and end on time. They’ll love if you deliver your message and finish early.
Don’t abuse the time of your audience. Treat it as a precious resource.
Public Speaker: Start on Time and End on Time