Presentations and Time

This is a common mistake that people do when given presentations, they run out of time. This appears to mainly be because they’ve written their persentation (usually on PowerPoint) and haven’t done a trial run to determine if it will fit into the time allocated. Today for example, someone gave a presentation in a meeting that lasted 2 hours and after 1.5 hours was only 1/3 of the way through their slides.

So either the subject they;re talking about is too complex for this format, or they (which is I think is the most common problem) under-estimate how quickly they can do the presentation (or how long it will actually take them to present it!).

Also, just because a meeting is scheduled for X length of time, it never means that you actually have X time to work with. First, people are always late*, or it takes time to get the screen-sharing working, dial into the conference call. Then people have to do the verbal handshakes Based on my experience where I work now, this is in the range of 5 to 20 minutes. Unless you have a meeting co-ordinator or chair who’ll promptly get things going and make sure all the tiddly bits, such as the screen-sharing  … are set-up and running.

And, if your presentation doesn’t take all of the allocated time, you’ll get more feedback, and the undying gratitude of all the people in the meeting, who had to attend but have no interest in the meeting, they’ll get a few minutes of their day back so they can get back to work***.

* People are alway late: At least where I work. A lot of the time this is because if they have back-to-back meetings one meeting runs overtime (bad meeting management) so they’re late for the following meeting which won’t start until they show, which runs over cause they’re late and creates a snowball affect.

** Verbal handshakes: The banter at the start of meeting where people introduce themselves, or exchange pleasantries with peole they know at the meeting “How are you?”, “I’m so-and-so.” … and so on

*** Back to Work: Unless they have a laptop, which means they spend the whole meeting clattering away on the keyboard distrupting the people sitting near them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.