You’re killing your confidence.
You’re sabotaging your performance.
You’re bombing on stage.
All because of one little mistake…
Your focus on time.
The moment had finally arrived. Graham Walters was about to deliver his first presentation.
Graham had been allocated 15 minutes to deliver a speech. An important opportunity for him to update the company on the progress of his product innovation project.
He’d been up all night putting the finishing touches on his slides and practicing his talk. But he was worried. Worried about getting through his materials too quickly. He had a full 15 minutes and his practice had only been able to fill 8 minutes tops.
The couple of hours of sleep Graham had tried to get had been rough. No sooner did he fall asleep, the panic of what might happen on stage woke him up again.
The clock ticked on.
The organizer completed introductions and announced the next 15 minutes would be Graham-time.
Panic-struck, Graham took to the stage. He fumbled about for a few seconds, got himself under control, and started to talk. As he spoke he continued to think about the time limit. He was never going to get there!
In the end, Graham spoke for 9 minutes with a shaky voice When he finally sat down his body was trembling. He hadn’t been convincing and he was sure his message had been unclear. What a mess!
As he sat there, Graham started to go back over his presentation. Why hadn’t he just tried to be as clear and persuasive as possible? He knew he didn’t have enough material for 15 minutes, he should have made the best of what he had…
…And there it is. Graham was so focused on filling up the 15 minutes, his presentation suffered.
Instead of delivering a quality presentation, Graham fumbled around while he worried about an arbitrary time limit.
It takes as long as it takes.
No presentation should be derailed because of time.
Quality is far more important than quantity.
Presentation content should be delivered as succinctly and persuasively as possible. No more, no less.
There are few, if any, businesspeople who would get frustrated by having to listen to a shorter than expected speech.
Once you’re done, you’re done.
Next time you have to deliver a business presentation, focus on saying what needs to be said, handle questions, and then sit down, comfortable that you’ve done your job.