The Best Ways to Keep to Time in a Presentation

Keeping to time during a presentation is one of the most significant ways to show respect to your audience. It is not easy to earn the audience's attention and to keep it from the beginning of your speech to its final words.

The attention doesn’t come by itself, you have to do something to earn it. If you speak too long, some attendees will feel bored and annoyed, and they will see it like you don't respect their own time. That’s why it is remarkably important to keep to time in your presentation. Start on time and end on time, too!

No one can count time

There is an exercise that is recommended by time managing experts and some psychologists. Ask a choleric person and a phlegmatic person to count out loud for just a minute. Don't show them a timer! There is a high probability that the choleric will count too fast, and the phlegmatic – too slow. And none of them will determine the end of the minute in a right moment. Our inner "timer" makes mistakes all the time. So if you want to keep to time in your presentation, you should use the real timers and to prepare your performance with the watch in your hand.

Why we usually exceed our time limits? There are several common reasons. Sometimes you try to tell about many different things in a short time segment and overload your speech with information. Sometimes all the process of your performing takes more time by itself – due to the technical problems, extended answers to the questions and other possible (and not always predictable) features of each individual presentation. What you can do?

Make a written schedule

Every speaker knows how long he is allowed to speak. He knows it before a presentation, so he can check his time and write down the detailed timed plan. It is better to do it when you already know your words well, have all the slides ready and have done, at least, 2-3 rehearsals. First take your timer and try to find out an average time that you use to make an introduction, to speak about each part of your topic, to close the presentation and to answer questions. Than limit this time and make a written schedule. For example, you plan to start at 11:00 am, so your plan may look like:

11:00 Introduction

11:10 Problem

11:20 Solution

11:30 Summary

11:35 Questions

11:45 Thanks

When you will give a presentation, you'll be able to see your time limits and to push yourself to speak slowly or faster, to keep to time of every part of the performance.

Have a timer

As we have already said before, the majority of people can't manage their time without a clock or a timer. That's why it is more reasonable to rely on technology than on your inner time feeling. You can wear a watch or take a pocket timer for your presentation. In the most audiences there are clocks which also may help you to keep to time. But the best way is to use special time helpers that are already integrated into your presentation platform or software.

For example, PodioBox shows you in a very easy way how long you should speak before your slide will be changed to the next one. This is the most useful way because of its automation – the colored line runs on the screen and you can see it every time you look at your slide (you don't need to remember about timing, you will see your slides anyway). This solution will help you to keep to time EVERY time you give a presentation.

Always start on time

If you don't want to lose your audiences' attitude and attention, always start the presentation on time. Many meetings and events go over time because of the late beginning. Remember that time runs very fast and you can't ever have a situation when it will be enough. So you should plan every minute of your performance and always, with no excuses, start ONLY on time. Be prepared to time changes, you should practice to deliver your information in several different time limits – this way you'll be prepared for any surprises.

If you control your timer in PodioBox or just your watch, if you plan everything in a right way, if you rehearse at least several times with the strict time limits, you'll end the presentation on time and show respect to every person who has come here to listen to you.

You are a great speaker!

© PodioBox 2017

Posted in PodioProfy, Tips by PodioBox on May 03, 2019.