You were asked to speak for 20 minutes. You wrote your speech. You read through it, timing yourself. Spot on. Then, when you got up to deliver it, you found your 20 minutes were up and you hadn’t got to the punchline.
Remember, it takes longer to deliver a speech that it does to read it.
- A third-grade student reads at about 150 words per minute.
- The world speed-reading champion reads at 4,700 words per minute.
- The average adult reads at 300 words per minute.
But when you deliver a speech or presentation most people average just 100 words per minute.
And that’s why so many speakers find themselves in a time crunch as they approach what should be the most memorable part of their presentation.
When you rehearse, stand in front of a mirror and read your speech out loud. Time yourself. You’ll give yourself a much better chance of ending on tine, without having to rush through your conclusion or punchline.
(If you use the TalkitOut Technique for preparing a speech, you’ll never run into time trouble. With TalkitOut you are always reading out loud, rather than simply composing in silence).
Halina St James takes the worry out of presentations with her Present Like a Pro video training course. It’s available now from the Podium Coaching online store, together with her popular TalkitOut: From Fears to Cheers e-book and workbook.