Once, he was asked to speak for 40 minutes to a group of financial advisors. The speakers before him had run past their allotted time, so when it was his turn, he told the announcer he could get the show back on schedule. He did his 40-minute presentation in five minutes, without ever glancing at his watch. (It was, by the way, the highest rated presentation of the day.)
Whether attending a meeting, talking on the phone or delivering a presentation, you can stay on schedule and deliver compelling information with these key guidelines:
- Get to the point. Determine the information that is most important, compelling and potentially valuable to your audience. Then deliver it.
- Come prepared. Know how long it will take to describe certain elements of your business, products or services. And practice.
- Time yourself. If you find yourself “going long” in meetings, check your watch. When you are done, check again. How much of the meeting did your conversation occupy? Was the time justified by the information you delivered?
In the business world, time is always in short supply — it’s a very valuable commodity. The last thing you need is for people to waste it—including yourself!
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Maribeth Kuzmeski is the founder of Red Zone Marketing, LLC, which consults to Fortune 500 firms on strategic marketing planning and business growth. For more information, go to www.redzonemarketing.com.