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How to work out the timing for a presentation

Sometimes it can be difficult to decide how much time should be allocated to the opening, body and close of a presentation.

Quite often people have a great opening followed by strong points which are supported with relevant examples. However because they haven't considered the length of time allocated to their presentation they often find that they run out of time. In turn, their close is rushed and doesn't do justice to the presentation as a whole.

More often than not, we tend to over estimate the amount of time that we have left to conclude our presentation. Amazingly the time seems to fly by during the presentation! Running out of time doesn't give a good impression … it implies poor planning. And who wants to do business with someone who can't seem to plan their presentation well?

How to stay to time

To ensure that you stay within your allocated time, as a rough guide follow these percentages:


5-10% of total allocated time


80-90% of total allocated time


5-10% of total allocated time

By following these guidelines you'll be able to ensure that you cover all of your points in the allocated time as well as have time for a strong close.

What are your thoughts and experiences in working out the timing for your presentations?


Maria Pantalone

Maria Pantalone works with individuals and teams to make communication their strength so that their message is heard. Her programs help her clients to excel in their role and be recognised as leaders in their field.
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