Time Management Tips for Trainers
Proper time management is imperative even if you do not teach time management seminars. That said, here are some tips that have been time tested and work for most presenters.
Practice, Practice, Practice….
For new presentations, you are likely to spend over 10 hours researching, outlining as well as creating your presentation for every hour. That means it will take a new 8-hour seminar at least 80 hours to build. For the best results, prepare it at least a month in advance and practice it over and over before the big day.
Plan for Less and Prepare More
Content that you think will take half an hour to present often takes an hour when done live. As such, it is advisable to plan to use 40 to 50 minutes of content for every one hour of classroom or platform time according to AllenComm. You should always expect to speak in less time than you intend so that you can leave room for unexpected questions, unanticipated conversations, and spontaneous stories.
When it comes to preparing your presentation, it’s always wise to have more content that you will need. Some presenters often speed through their seminars because of nervousness and end too soon. You should check your breath. If you’re out of breath, chances are you are speaking too fast. Include the estimated time on every handout and practice your content enough so that you can maintain the right pace. Always expect to be asked to extend your time in order to ‘pinch hit’ for a no-show speaker.
Reduce Activity Time
Assign less time than you think is required for things like group activities. If you allow 30 minutes for an exercise, they will finish up quickly and leave for other things like making calls and going through social media. Instead, give them 10 minutes to come up with ten ideas and they will be brainstorming with buzz and creativity.
Meet the Participants
If you didn’t know, your presentation starts before you take the stage and after you are done. Mingle with the participants a few minutes before you get on the stage and you will key in on familiar faces instead of strangers when you present.
Take a Break before the 2-Hour Mark
You should take a break for every 70 minutes if the setting is classroom style and 60 minutes with the audience is in a theatre. You should never go beyond 2 hours without a break as adults’ attention reduces as their bodies tire.
Stop on Time
Regardless of how late you started, you should make a habit of stopping on time. Extending the presentation time only shows a lack of respect for the audience, and you can be certain that you’ll annoy the person in charge of planning. Always know how long your conclusion will take and practice diving into it if time is not on your side. You can end with a pithy quote instead of the planned exercise or story.
Start on Time after the Breaks
If you begin several minutes after the agreed time, you will only train them to return a few minutes late in the next break. Do not punish those who keep time. You can make the audience to return on time by telling the first half of a joke and promising to finish it after the break. Since phones and watches are set differently, consider saying the length of the break instead of the exact time to return.
Also, give odd numbers like 17 or 21 minutes for memorability. Begin on time at the end of your joke and refuse to repeat it to the latecomers with a smile.
Always Print your Outline
If you have been assigned an hour and the presenter before you extend by 3 minutes, you should be able to deliver in half an hour. Print your slides in an outline form so that during the presentation, you can key in a number and it will jump straight to that specific PowerPoint slide. The audience may feel slighted if you display the slides that you will not cover.
Do not Leave Immediately
When the presentation is over, stick around for a while so that you can converse with a few participants. This is usually an ideal time for people to ask questions that they were uncomfortable uttering in front of a larger audience. Others will give you a personal story on certain points you made or simply thank you for the presentation. You should always stick around for such things.