This applies not just in life – and on the field – but also to PowerPoint Presentations.
Here are some timely suggestions on how to make sure your presentation doesn’t drag, and to make the most of your precious time with the client.
- Do a dry-run: This is essential to ensure that you don’t overshoot the time allotted to you for your presentation. Unless you practise – a full-run through in which you talk the audience (comprising colleagues and team-mates) through your slides – you won’t know if it’s too long or too short.
- Rehearse timings: Use this handy feature in PPT to set your ideal timings for the slides to change. After several run-throughs, you will know which setting suits you best. Remember to save it, so your slides play at the same speed and within the same time-frame during the actual presentation.
- Less is more: If you wind up your presentation a bit earlier than expected, it’s a good thing. Certainly better than one that goes on and on, making everyone in the room impatient and inattentive.
- Pace it right: This doesn’t mean that you race through your presentation! Far from it. You must match the speed of the slides with the flow of your spoken presentation so that they cohere and connect.
- Save time: When you repeat verbally – and verbatim – what is already being visually communicated by your slides, you are wasting time! Put down your speaking-script with precision, ensuring that it substantiates and supports each slide, adding value and information each time.
- Slow down: This is for those moments when you feel nervous! Either because you’ve forgotten what you meant to say, or because you think you’re running out of time – a problem you shouldn’t have if you’re rehearsed! By slowing down, you conceal your nervousness, give yourself time to think about the next point, and allow the audience to absorb what you have said.
- Leave time at the end: For questions, interaction and yes, coffee!
So that’s it for the moment. Now it’s time for you to put all this into action!