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Don’t Talk Too Long: Presentation Tips

by Roger HB Davies

Do a “dry run” to focus on the timing of your presentation.

Listeners commonly complain that speakers waste their time and talk too long. If you don’t do a dry run, you risk preparing forty minutes of material for a twenty-minute presentation. At the fifteen-minute mark, you’re surprised when you’re only halfway through your material. You panic. You speed up the last part, glide over the most important points, and never get that hard-hitting conclusion you planned.

The Skilled Presenter™ always does at least one dry run to focus on timing. Be willing to remove major sections of your presentation. Ask the following questions: Do my listeners really want to know this? Is it engaging? Is it persuasive?

On the other hand, if your dry run shows your presentation is short, stretch the time by adding more examples or by devoting more time to a question-and-answer period.

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