Presenters Who Go Overtime

Written by Pam Chambers

Recently a well-respected man in his field was allotted 20 minutes for his remarks. He started by saying, “I can’t possible condense my message into 20 minutes. It will probably be more like 40. If you can’t stay until the end, feel free to leave.”

I don’t know how everyone else felt, but my three adjectives about him in that instant were: arrogant, self-centered, and disrespectful. Let’s add a fourth: undisciplined.

Especially in Hawaii, people don’t like getting up and walking out on a speaker. They are more likely to sit in quiet anguish, wondering how and when they can escape.

Please, speakers: You must learn how to be an accordion, gracefully collapsing and expanding your material. No one will know (or care about) what you left out. Learn how to express your message in one hour, half an hour, and five minutes. That’s what headlines are all about. A well-crafted headline lets us know if we should stick around for the rest of the story. Be that kind of speaker. Stick to your agreement and stay afterwards to chat with people who want more.


Leave a Reply