Respect Your Audience’s Time

As someone who spends a fair amount of time speaking to groups, I’m always interested when I come upon posts with titles like 10 Ways to Avoid Bombing While Public Speaking.

The on that jumped out at me, and made me smile to myself, was actually number 10:

Finish on time – Stand up, speak up, shut up!

I have often said, only half jokingly, that the easiest way to a good evaluation as a trainer is to end early. Obviously, a good evaluation does require a bit more than that. On the other hand, ending late is almost guaranteed to not only prevent a positive review, but quite possibly lead to a negative one. Nothing irritates a class or any other type of audience than simply ignoring the possibility that listening to you beyond the allotted time is not the most important thing they are doing that day.

Of course, on the flip side of that, when a class is scheduled, or a presentation is scheduled for a certain amount of time, nothing disrespects the speaker quite like getting up and leaving before that time is up. Look, I understand that sometimes things happen, and you have to leave, but it is quite disrespectful to speakers and other attendees to come to a session and know that you won’t be staying for all of it.

Remember, the presentation is generally being timed to match the allotted time, if you decide something else is more important than being there for all of it, you won’t be getting the whole story.

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