PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

Over the years I have asked many people what their biggest complaint is with the typical presentation or speech.  By a wide margin, the most often cited complaint is “Too long!”

Speakers chronically speak past their allotted time.  They do it even when they promise not to.

This problem is so common that the speaker who does not run long stands out.  You can almost guarantee he or she will be complimented afterward for the on-time finish.

The primary reason for over-long presentations and speeches is the lack of out-loud practice with a clock.  If you only think about your talk, it will seem significantly shorter than it really is.  That’s because your mind will do a kind of data compression without you realizing it.  It’s only when you actually try to say the piece, out loud, that its real length reveals itself.  Often this real length will be fifty percent more than you expected.

Practice out loud and ruthlessly edit.  Get your talk down to where you can comfortably say it out loud in less time than the meeting coordinator promised you.  The result will be an on-time finish and a happy audience.

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