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. Sandra Walters was about to deliver her first presentation.
Sandra had been allocated 15 minutes to deliver a speech. An important opportunity for her to update the company on the progress of her product innovation project.
She’d been up all night putting the finishing touches on her slides and practicing her talk. But she was worried. Worried about getting through her materials too quickly. She had a full 15 minutes and her practice had only been able to fill 8 minutes tops.
The couple of hours of sleep Sandra had tried to get had been rough. No sooner did she fall asleep, the panic of what might happen on stage woke her up again.
The clock ticked on.
The organizer completed introductions and announced the next 15 minutes would be Sandra-time.
Panic-struck, Sandra took to the stage. She fumbled about for a few seconds, got herself under control, and started to talk. As she spoke she continued to think about the time limit. She was never going to get there!
In the end, Sandra spoke for 9 minutes with a shaky voice. When she finally sat down her body was trembling. She hadn’t been convincing and she was sure her message had been unclear. What a mess!
As she sat there, Sandra started to go back over her presentation. Why hadn’t she just tried to be as clear and persuasive as possible? She knew she didn’t have enough material for 15 minutes, she should have made the best of what she had…
…And there it is. Sandra was so focused on filling up the 15 minutes, her presentation suffered.
Instead of delivering a quality presentation, Sandra fumbled around while she 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.