Wayne, your presentations at our Professional Development Day were enjoyable and instructive. Leadership, and successful project management, starts with having the ability to communicate clearly, and we greatly appreciate you sharing your expertise with our Chapter.

I'm happy to lend my voice to let other PMI chapters know what an engaging and informative speaker you are.

C. Shankar - PMI Westchester
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SWaynePow'Rful Presentations Newsletter
November 2008 - Focus on Time
Pow'Rful Presentations is a relatively monthly investigation of ideas, strategies and techniques to assist PowerPoint® Presenters communicate clearly with audiences.
In my effort to please the widest range of readers and knowing that adult learners acquire new skills in different ways, you may find typographical or grammatical errors in this newsletter. No need to point these out to me. Some readers learn best by analyzing text for errors. 
Also, depending on your background, and my South African origins, you may find some of my spelling and grammar to be, well let us just say "imaginative".
© Wayne Botha 2008
Speech Timelines
The quick and easy way to set milestones
Have you ever created a timeline for your speech? This is an easy way to break down a longer presentation into discrete chunks, with milestones marking your progression through your speech.
Create a Speech Timeline Tool for each presentation that is longer than 15 minutes. For example, let's say that you have agreed to present a 40 minute speech, starting at 10 AM.
Here are easy steps to make a Speech Timeline Tool for this presentation.
First, open MS-WORD and create a table with nine rows and three columns.
Second, make headings for the columns "Time", "Segment" and "Comments".
Third, lay out the times in five minute increments for your presentation. Starting at 10:03, (because presentations are likely to start a few minutes late), make the next time milestones at 10:08, 10:13, 10:18, and so on.
Then, make comments in the middle column indicating where you expect to be in the presentation. For example, you will open with a story, startling fact or interesting statistic. Then sprinkle audience-engagement activities throughout the presentation and make these comments in the middle column.
Finally, when you rehearse your presentation make additional comments in the third column as you discover thoughts that help you to create an enthralling experience.
You can write in your timing signals in this column, for example, put in the word "Yellow" at 10:43 and "Red" at 10:48 so that your timer knows when to signal you that it is time to wrap up the presentation.
You will find that this simple Speech Timeline Tool helps you to think of a 40 minute presentation in small chunks of five minute activities and stories. Then you can rehearse the small chunks of the presentation as you find small bits of time in the weeks leading up to your presentation.
Innovative time tips when you don't have a designated timer.
Do you lose track of time when you are presenting? Every presenter is subject to going overtime and getting off schedule.
Going over time is an occupational hazard of public speaking. I have seen experienced speakers, including Distinguished Toastmasters completely ignore all timing signals and blissfully sail way over the allotted time for a presentation.
The best way to keep on time, is to find a reliable person to give you signals as listed on your Speech Timeline Tool.
In addition, I have found these techniques helpful to stay on time.
Firstly, you can put a clock on the lectern. Keep it in your pocket as you go forward to speak, and then put the clock on the lectern, out of sight of your audience. I like analog clocks so that I can see the hands on the clock easily, with just a glance. I find that digital clocks are harder to analyze and instantly realize how much time I have left for the presentation.
Secondly, look around the room when you enter it. Are there clocks on the wall of the meeting room that you can glance at to keep your presentation on time? Free bonus hint. If you see a clock on the wall, make sure that it is functional, and accurate (Don't ask me how I came to learn this tip).
Finally, have your audience help you stay on track. Tell your audience that you will handout a prize for the person who interrupts you at 5 minutes and 32 minutes of your 40 minute presentation. Then, everyone in the audience will be watching the time and at 5 minutes you hand out a prize when the person interrupts you.
You can be sure that this will train the audience to make sure you will know when you reach 32 minutes, and you can start to wrap - up your presentation.

Tips for Toastmasters.
If you are in Toastmasters, then this tip will help you to get more out of your journey. 
This month sees the addition of a new segment in this Newsletter - Tips for Toastmasters. This segment was born out of the runaway success at the Fall 2008 District 53 Toastmasters conference where my free booklet "27 HUGE Ideas for Toastmasters to do before they die" was scooped up faster than free donuts at a police convention.

This month's tip to get the most out of your Toastmasters meeting is:
Hold a special club meeting, where you require all presentations to meet "Ignite" criteria. (Google "Ignite" to find out more and see youtube examples).
Are you wondering what the criteria could be for an "Ignite" presentation?  Well, wonder no more.
"Ignite" presentations meet the following criteria: 20 PowerPoint slides, and each one automatically advances after 15 seconds, to give you a total presentation time of 5 minutes.
PowerPoint training is essential in order for Toastmasters to excel in today's business world and your members benefit from events that expose members to PowerPoint presentation styles like "Ignite".  
So bring variety to your club meeting while making your club members better business presenters, with an "Ignite" meeting.
My embarrassing moment of the week. 
Although this is a relatively monthly newsletter, I seem to generate enough embarrassing moments to fill a daily journal.
We fabulous wife and I were eating at friends. Amongst the dishes on the table was a bowl with cooked mushrooms in an olive oil based sauce. Mushrooms are one of my favorite sides and so I helped myself to as large a helping as I could get away with, stopping just short of being impolite.
I enjoyed eating mushrooms with everything on on my plate and  I rounded off the meal by eating a whole mushroom. Then I asked our host for the recipe for the mushrooms. She burst out laughing with a hearty "No - they are chunks of cooked garlic".
Needless to say, people kept their distance from me for a few days. 
Do you need a speaker for your conference? Contact me and let's discuss if I am the right speaker for your event.
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Email me with any questions that you have about presentations and I will attempt to address them in a future newsletter.

More next time!

Wayne Botha

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