Leave Half Your Time for Q&A

If you have 30 minutes on an agenda, don’t plan to speak for more than 15 minutes. 

You read that correctly.  Leave half your time for Q&A.

Usually, the most exciting part of a presentation for the audience is the time they get to ask questions.  It’s your listeners’ chance to talk about what’s truly on their mind.

But I also think it should be the most exciting part of the presentation for the speaker.  It’s your chance to hear whether they’re buying into your argument.

Let’s say that you’re trying to persuade your audience to give you money for a project.  You’ve made your argument and then you stop and take questions. The first question is “Can you explain to me why you need so much money for this plan?”

If you’re the presenter, you should be delighted. Here’s your chance to answer an objection and get your listener over the hump to buy into your idea.

Guy Kawasaki, the venture capitalist and internet guru, urges speakers to follow the 10-20-30 rule. Limit your presentations to ten slides and 20 minutes. And limit your type size to 30 point or larger.

It’s important to note that Kawasaki wants you to limit your presentation to no more than 20 minutes even if you have a full hour to speak!  The point is that Kawasaki wants most of the presentation to be an interactive experience.

Want to have a great presentation?  Don’t talk for more than half of your alloted time.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email