The problem with Time is that it slips away when you aren’t looking. You can’t save Time, you don’t have enough Time and sometimes you have too much Time. Once Time is gone you can’t get it back. All of which means you must use your Time wisely, carefully and with respect.

When I informed Trischel’s staff that I would blog today on Time there was much hilarity and disbelief. There is a view that I have no conception of Time – in fact some may go so far as to say that I am never on time. A view point that I believe is completely erroneous. Whilst I might, under duress, admit that there are times in my personal life that getting from one place to another on time, can sometimes be stressful for myself and others, in my professional and work life I am a strict adherent to Time. After much head shaking, muttering and conferring the staff agreed that this was indeed true.

So –having gained agreement let’s look at how we use our Time. Specifically when you are giving presentations at a meeting or conference – do you use your Time wisely, carefully and with respect? Have you ever been at a meeting or conference when the first speaker went over the allotted time by 10mins, the next by 10 mins and the next by 10 mins and so on until by the end of the day the last speaker is faced by going over by 20 mins or cutting down the presentation by 15mins. How would you feel if you were that last speaker and were faced with this decision? How would you feel if you were in the audience and were faced with finishing the conference 30 minutes late – you would not be happy!

From the speakers view point – there you are, you have worked hard to research and prepare your presentation. You have a vital message or call to arms that you want to give to the audience and suddenly you find that you have to cut the presentation because of the previous speaker failing to use Time wisely and failing to respect the audience’s valuable time and your valuable time.

The consequences of a speaker going over Time will have great impact on you as a member of the audience. You may find you have less respect for the professionalism and credibility of the speaker. You will often find yourself drifting and thinking of the late finish rather than what the speaker has to say.

So how do we prevent this chain reaction occurring. Firstly, practise, practise, practise! Know your material; know how long your presentation will take. Be aware of the possibility of audience interaction and cut your presentation accordingly. Secondly, be flexible – be prepared to cut and modify your presentation if necessary. A good speaker should be able to react to time indications. Have someone keep an eye on the time for you and give you an indication when you are getting near to the end of your allotted time on the programme. A good speaker has respect for Time – uses it wisely and with respect for fellow speakers and for the audience.

Oops Time for me to go – people to meet and places to be. As the Mad Hatter said in Alice in Wonderland: “No wonder you’re late. Why, this watch is exactly two days slow.”

Trish @ Trischel

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