PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

You almost never hear someone complain about a presentation or a speech being too short in duration. 

You regularly hear people complain about speakers running too long.

What is too long?

Too long is anything that significantly exceeds the expectations of the audience members.  These expectations can be based on a formal agenda or what has come to be considered normal for a particular venue.  In the absence of an agenda or precedent, people judge appropriate length based on what they believe is reasonable for the topic.  Of course, “reasonable” is a matter of opinion and can vary quite a bit across any group.

So what do you do if you are unsure about how long to talk?  Keep it brief. Leaving them wanting more is better than overstaying your welcome.  If it is appropriate, entertain questions. If the audience members want additional information, they can ask you for it.

You will score points if you end before people start thinking “this needs to end.”

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