[Video] How to stay on time during talks

10X Business Letter
San Diego, Ca
Clear and 60 Degrees

Dear 10X Business Builder,

I was recently invited to do a 25-minute presentation in front of 700 people. It was a multi-speaker event and the meeting organizer was clear that I only had 25-minutes and I had to stay on time.

I have done speaking events like that before, where you can not go 1-second over of your time allotted, so I knew I had to rehearse my talk very well if I were to deliver a life-changing message within that time-limit.

Here is the process that I followed:

  1. I outlined my presentation
  2. I read the talk out loud the first time and I realized I was over the limit. I wanted to get a rough idea about how long my talk was.
  3. I went back to the drawing board and re-did my outline considering my time-limit. My goal was to deliver a 24-minute powerful talk (I wanted to have 1-minute as a buffer)
  4. I read out lout for the second time and I noticed that my talk was under 24-minutes and I was so happy with the message.
  5. Once I had the final 24-minute outline in my hands, I rehearsed my talk 16 times to fine-tune the language, the delivery of my message, etc
  6. During my rehearsals I was very aware to incorporate 2 things into my outline: **The pauses and the audience participation** (VERY IMPORTANT). Even though I was rehearsing by myself, I created this imaginary audience who responded to my questions, etc. Both pauses and audience participation can add time to your talk.
  7. During ALL of my 16 rehearsals, I never went over the 24-minute mark. Even though I was not 100% scripted word-by-word, my talk was very similar all the times I went over it.

The day of the event arrived and it was time for me to speak. I was SO excited to deliver my talk.

I did exactly the same talk I did during my rehearsals and when I was about to close my talk, the MC of the event started walking towards the platform and signaling with his hand (your time is up). How was that possible? I had to do my close still??

I ended up increasing the pace, finished up my close and walked from the stage as I got a standing ovation.

Overall, I was super happy with the performance, feedback and results of my talk BUT I was confused.

How come I went over the time allotted? Why did I speak longer then my 16 rehearsals?

Again, I had an 1-minute buffer, so if I went over the time allotted, I knew something must had happened.

Lucky, I recorded my talk and I could see how long my talk was. My total speaking time was 25:50 (I went over 50 seconds), but considering I was rehearsing for a 24-minute talk, I added 1:50. How was that possible?

When I listened to my recording, I quickly realized that I did not account for two things: a) the time to walk on the stage and greet the MC and b) the time for the audience to laugh during my talk (who knew I was funny?).

I know that some people think that going 50-seconds over my 25-minute talk is not a big deal, but for me it is. Most importantly, is the lesson behind it. In professional speaking, everything counts and you have to plan for it.. So if you have a very important talk that you have have to deliver within a time limit, make sure to consider accounting for extra time during your rehearsals for these 4 things:

1. Time to walk on stage and greet the MC
2. Time for audience participation: (answers, show of hands, etc)
3. Time for laughter
4. Time for pauses

In this video I explain the entire story

Speak soon, (Seriously! you should!)

Roberto Monaco
Contributor, The 10x Business Letter
Co-founder, Influenceology

PS: Have you seen our new program Stories That Sell Volume 1? It is a collection of stories that are ready to use during your next sales presentation. These stories are proven to increase your closing ratios (they have increased mine)

PPS: Have you heard about Influence Academy? It’s a new user portal that has everything you need to take your speaking, marketing, influence to the next level.

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