A good public speaker is not self-centered; he should also understand how to value his audience. One of the most important things to remember as a public speaker is establishing a good relationship with your audience. Their time and attention are essential in building a good relationship and giving them their deserved value. The success of your presentation is determined not only by how you convey the message but also by timing.
According to Brian Tracy, a Canadian-American motivational speaker, wasting time results from a lack of clarity. It is important to ask yourself what you are attempting to accomplish and how you intend to accomplish it in everything you do.
This is true, and most public speakers tend to undermine this factor when they take the stage. If your presentation is too short, you may appear to be unfamiliar with your subject. You are the presenter, and it is your primary responsibility to deliver the information accurately and without ambiguity.
It is also a sign of unfamiliarity if you present for an extended period of time. If you know your subject well, you can explain it in the most straightforward manner possible and leave little to no questions to your audience.
Why Is Time Management Important in a Presentation?
1. It Enables You To Easily Highlight Your Key Points
If you are aware that your speech must adhere to a specific timetable, you will refrain from using unnecessary words that will detract from the substance of your speech. It enables you to be more direct and to the point. That is the primary reason you speak in front of your audience; you want to impart information that people will remember.
2. You Will keep Your Audience More Focused
If your presentation is straightforward and substantive, you will undoubtedly capture everyone's attention when your audience hears it. This is more advantageous than exceeding your allotted time and causing people to become agitated due to how you present.
If they are bored, you are not providing enough substance in the time allotted for your speech. Make your audience more focused and use your time wisely if you want to get something done.
3. Clean, Concise, and Organized Speech
Suppose you make adjustments to your speech to adhere to a fixed timeframe. In that case, you will notice loopholes that would otherwise go unnoticed unless you do so. Give yourself a specific amount of time for each section (introduction, body, conclusion, and Q&A).
Your speech will be more organized. Give your audience 10 minutes for each section, for example. They will be able to see how well you introduce them to the various sections of your speech.
4. It Makes Everyone's Job Easy
Understandably, when you are asked to speak in front of an audience, that event has been carefully planned for you to do so. If you go over, even facilitators may need to make many adjustments just to recover from your presentation.
For example, if you are asked to speak 30 minutes before lunch and go over 20 minutes, everyone will be negatively impacted. As a result, no matter how good your message is, they will dislike your speech if the audience becomes dissatisfied with how you proceed over time. Hence, it is always important to consider time management.
5. Your Audience Will Feel Respected
Because you adhere to your time limits, your audience will perceive you as respected and valuable. It instills in them a sense of importance for their time and space, to the point where you don't want to disturb them for any longer than the time they have agreed to give you. Furthermore, it gives them the impression that you have prepared well before you stood before them to speak. As a result, you will receive positive feedback.
How Do You Manage Time In A Speech?
Delivering a speech can be intimidating for some. Still, the feeling is satisfying once you know that your audience appreciated how you presented to them. Thus, following all of the necessary recipes for a successful speech is critical, and one of them is time management.
Here's how you should manage time in your speech:
1. Determine How Long You Are Asked To Speak
This is the first step in effectively managing your time during a presentation; knowing this is equivalent to having a solid foundation to build the rest of your message. You should be aware of how much time you have been given to speak so that you can structure your message appropriately.
Before you plan your presentation's structure, you should think about including a section for questions and answers. In this stage, you have the chance to remove the questions and concerns that the audience had about the entire presentation while you were speaking. This absolves your audience's confusion, but it also helps to establish the credibility of your message.
2. Calculate Your Own Speaking Time
After you've determined how much time you've been given to speak, it's time to estimate your speaking time. You might think this step is basic, but you'd be surprised how many people fail. Most speakers ignore it because they believe it is unnecessary and is also a tough task.
Your speech time is about more than just how you speak; it is also about math. If you are asked to speak for 15 minutes but speak for 30 minutes, you cannot convince the audience that you only spoke for 15 minutes. This may leave a negative impression on them.
Thus, you must stick to your speaking time. While rehearsing, you can use a timer to track how long you are speaking and make adjustments to your speech as needed. This may appear to be a process of trial and error. It may seem frustrating when you discover that your speech is too long or too short. But you will be able to anticipate how well your presentation was received after you have finished speaking.
3. Create a Plan
Your speech has a lot of structure; you have an introduction, a body, a conclusion, and a question and answer portion. Trying to estimate your overall speaking time would be time-consuming. To keep things simple, you can start by allocating a specific time to each structure.
Consider this example: if you have 40 minutes to speak, you can reserve 10 minutes for each section of your speech. This will allow you to know where to stop and switch from one part to the next. Additionally, when you structure your speech in this manner during your rehearsal, you will be able to easily identify any errors that may have occurred.
4. Spend Time Preparing Your Message
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Practicing how to deliver an effective speech cannot be accomplished in a single night. You must devote your time to painstakingly planning how to deliver your speech.
This could consume a significant amount of your time. While practicing, you should pay attention to your tone, pronunciation, and gestures. Even if you have planned your speech structure and time, you may fall short or go over.
The reason for this is that you did not pay attention to the technical aspects of your speech. There is a big chance that if your audience appears to be bored, your mind will panic, and you will become unaware of everything.
As a result, you will either speak quickly or slowly. Remember that the moment you deliver your speech, it is no longer a rehearsal. There is no turning back because you are already in front of your audience. Hence, being fully prepared in every aspect is critical.
5. Use an invisible timer onstage
In most cases, conference rooms have a wall clock that you can use as a timer. If you can glance at the wall clock without interfering with your speech, do so. However, if the clock is too far away or too small, use an invisible clock onstage - you can use your own wristwatch or a phone that vibrates when your speech time is up.
That clock is invisible because you should do your best not to make your audience feel uncomfortable that you are concerned about your time. You will not stare at that small clock all the time; instead, you will set a timer that will allow you to recognize what part of your time you are in.
How you manage your time during speeches reflects your personality - how disciplined, respectful, and prudent you are in public speaking. You can instill powerful ideas in your audience, causing them to remember your speech. Still, you can also give them the impression that you are professional. Why not combine the two? If you want to have a successful speech, follow the time management tips!
For more resources to develop your public speaking skills while you are in the comforts of your own home, please check out the article ‘Online Resources for Public Speaking‘. If you would like to leverage the best presentation software for your next big speaking engagement please read the article 'Best Presentation Technology tools'.