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Presentations always have a time limit. Always. Isn’t it fascinating most people believe they have to use every second? Why?

A presentation is not about filling a time slot but rather it’s about getting your message across and having it remembered. It’s how you use the minutes and not about using all the minutes. Quantity or quality? You get to decide.

Here’s “10” thought starters you can use the next time it’s your turn to plan the meeting’s message.

Think about how you will:

1. Gain your audience’s attention.
Snoopy always started his stories with, “It was a dark and stormy night…” What’s your opening? Your opening  draws the audience into your idea. Stories are a good way to focus a group on a concept. A strong visual may work too.

2. Keep their attention through the “boring bits.”
“When the eyes glaze, it’s time to raise…” your game. Voice inflection, planned movement (hand gestures, walking across the stage) and well done visuals are ways to keep regenerating your audience’s attention.

3. Own the conclusion.
After all the preparation, your conclusions must be the strongest part of your presentation. Is your conclusion a “?” “!” “.”  Your ending has to be as strong as the opening.

4. Prepare for the questions.
I’ve yet to see a presenter who did such a terrific job that there were no questions. Having back-up slides to address questions that may be asked keeps an audience from getting off track from your message. While you cannot be prepared for every question, you can be prepared for the most likely.

5, (and 6, and 7, and 8, and 9, and 10.) Practice your pitch.
Be sure you are able to deliver your message in less time than allotted. Meetings can get cut short. Life happens. Are you prepared for this? If you are organized in thought and prepared in your delivery you will be showing respect to your audience.

Be intentional