Sunday, January 31, 2016

Speaker Tip: Start Your Timer Now!

Many speakers use a timer. This helps you stay on track and not run over. I know some speakers who set up a tablet or phone with a countdown timer. A few years ago, I picked up a Logitech presentation remote with a built-in timer (it's a bit well-worn now):

1 hour talk (don't do this)
I like this remote because it buzzes at me when my time starts to run down. But when I was learning to use it, I made a big mistake. I would set it for 1 hour (or however long the presentation was supposed to be), but then I would forget to start it.

Then I picked up an awesome piece of advice (I heard it from Kathleen Dollard):
Don't set the timer for the length of the talk. Set it for how long until the talk ends from now.
So if the talk is one hour long, and it starts in 7 minutes, set the timer for 1:07 and then start it now.

1 hour talk that starts in 7 minutes (do this!)
This means that you start the timer while you're thinking about it -- because it is way too easy to forget to start it when you're worrying about starting your presentation. As an added bonus, it helps you remember when you're supposed to start talking.

Since I started doing this, I've never forgotten to start my timer.

Happy Speaking!

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