5 Easy Steps To Keep Your Presentation On Time

Along with offering the wrong material, one of the bigger mistakes a presenter can make is running too long. Some presenters take a cavalier attitude toward time, especially if they’re speaking in the evening. Regardless of when your presentation occurs, stay on time. It shows respect and a level of professionalism. These tips will help you.

1. Develop an outline and script
The framework for your presentation, an outline creates order and structure. Your notes or script, developed from your outline, keep you on message and on time. Speakers who try to “wing it” during either the research stage or the presentation itself often end up with an incoherent speech that wanders aimlessly and goes well over the allotted time.

2. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse
The best way to know whether you’re on time is to do a full rehearsal. Don’t quicken your pace or cut corners. If, for example, you want to use 10 minutes for a group exercise, stop your rehearsal for 10 minutes. Walk away, and do some chores or other tasks to burn that time.

Do you need time to erase the whiteboard? Hand out materials? Open a new program or file? Factor in those, as well. Plan for questions, because you’ll get some. Every aspect of your presentation must be rehearsed so your timing and flow are properly represented.

3. Use timing cues
These can be written on a separate piece of paper or in the margins of your script. It is crucial that the time references correspond to the time of the presentation, not when you rehearsed. Also, don’t record in time increments (such as “15 mins in,” “30 mins in”). While giving your presentation, you will be forced to mentally calculate the time based upon your start time. That could be distracting for you.

Let’s say you rehearse a 75-minute presentation starting at 2:45. You decide to cue yourself in 15-minute increments. Your notes for the rehearsal would show references at 3:00, 3:15, and so on.

If your presentation starts at 10:00, cue yourself based upon that. In this case, your notes indicate you should be at certain portions of your material at 10:15, 10:30, and so forth.

4. Have a timepiece within view
Don’t assume that the meeting room has a clock, and that the clock is in a convenient location. Set a watch or small clock near your script so you can review the time when you glance at your material.

Avoid the natural inclination to look at your watch. Once or twice is OK, but more frequently, and you appear to be anxious to leave or disorganized. Remember the flack George H.W. Bush caught when he glanced at his watch during a debate?

If you don’t have a spare watch or small clock, use your wristwatch. Position it so you can easily view the time, and that it won’t get buried as you shuffle your papers.

5. End early
Craft every presentation so that you end five to 10 minutes early. Presentations tend to run a bit longer than rehearsals. (You get more questions than anticipated, and some questions lead to lengthy side discussions.) Those final moments can be used to complete evaluation forms and ask any remaining questions.

Plus, as noted above, ending on time – and especially a bit early – shows respect for your audience and any presenter to follow. Time is a precious resource. The mark of a great presenter is one who delivers good material effectively, and does so while staying within the allotted time. Make that one of your goals for your presentations.

Real Estate Listings Today Need Top-Notch Presentation

In the real estate market today there are fewer buyers and many sellers. This is not the time to be lackluster in marketing your property. To lure buyers, an aggressive campaign to present your property in the best light is paramount. Whether a broker is handling it or you are selling on your own, your real estate listings need to be top-notch.

The internet will play host to your listing on a multitude of sites. These sites reach people around the world. No more small ads with a few succinct lines in the local newspaper. Today, your listing will be global.

Begin with the description of your property. Include every positive factor you can think of. Mention light-filled rooms, updated appliances, hardwood floors. Anything unique in the design or layout. Make your words fill the imagination of potential buyers.

The convenience and charm of the neighborhood should be included. The schools and recreational facilities should be mentioned. A nearby library is a plus. A great grocery store close by is a plus. If there is a shopping mall in the area, that is a selling factor. If your neighborhood is trendy, talk about bars and cafes nearby. By adding personal touches, you will connect with buyers looking for just those things.

This does not mean you make a folksy presentation. Definitely do not use amateurish photos or cutesy descriptions. Often a broker takes care of the details. But with a flooded market, you may not get the attention you need to sell your property fast. If you are taking on some of the marketing yourself, make sure the photos you post look professional. If you are not a good photographer, find someone who is. If you cannot write a decent sentence, someone you know can.

Pay attention to real estate jargon. The industry uses words to paint a picture of a pleasant home. Learn a few phrases by reading some of the ads. Make your wording upbeat. Try to be honest. If your house is a fixer-upper, it is okay to say that. By using that term, you avoid stating details that are not quite so wonderful. Highlight the positive, shade over the negative.

Never post dark, poorly exposed photos online. No picture is better than a picture that makes your place look like a dark hole. Also, avoid posting close-ups of the toilet. Yes, this is actually done. It is a waste of space and looks tacky. Most everyone knows what a toilet looks like and assumes one comes with the property. If the bathroom is clean, updated and aesthetically appealing, do post a photo of it. Especially if it has a window, a skylight or other elements that make it special.

Try to avoid things that, while necessary, do not make appealing photos: old radiators, hot water tanks, hanging wires or ungainly air-conditioning units. Instead focus on the fireplace, architectural details if any, good flooring, walk-in closets or large windows. If you have a view, this makes for a good photo. A night shot of a cityscape is compelling. If there is greenery outside, try to frame it nicely through the windows. A pool or rooftop deck should be shown in sunshine.

Never post pictures of dirty, cluttered rooms filled with personal belongings. Women take one look and move on. Good-looking photos will attract buyers. Make sure your real estate listings work in your favor for a quick sale at the best possible price.

Christmas Presents For Kids – Should I Get A Dog?

Soon it will be Christmas again and you will get your kids the most wonderful presents. For a long time now your son or daughter has been wanting a dog. With Christmas coming up you might ask yourself if a puppy would not make a fantastic surprise under the Christmas Tree.

Contemplating this you imagine all the joy and happiness on your babe’s face, the glee of the dream come true in her eyes.

But wait, would this really be such a good idea after all? Will that cute little puppy really stay cute for long? Or will it turn into a dog with his own needs and expectations?

Will your kid really stick to all her promises once the Christmas days are over? You know all those promises of looking after her dog, taking him out on walks, feeding and grooming him… for the next ten or fifteen years?

Let’s face it – in the end it is always the parents responsibility to look after a dog, no matter what the kids promise.

So as it will be your dog in the long run, you need to ask yourself some serious questions.

  • Do I really want to share my life with a dog?
  • Am I really fond of dogs and is my partner fond of dogs?
  • Do we as adults have the time and patience to look after a dog, to care for his needs, be there for him in times of trouble?
  • Can we afford to keep a dog or is our financial budget too tight anyway?
  • Does a canine fit in with our plans for the future?
  • Is there enough space in the house for another family member?

Since health is always an issue you also need to make sure no member of your family is afraid of dogs or even allergic to dog hairs and dander.

If you are very house proud and a keen gardener you also need to take into account the fact that a pooch goes places he should not go, sheds hair at least twice a year and leaves muddy dog paws all over the place – in short, your house will not be as clean as it was without a dog. Your work load will increase.

A dog makes a fantastic friend and companion. Canines give a lot but they also take a lot. They need company most of the day to stay healthy and happy, they need proper training, exercise and nourishment.

Owning a dog means being responsible for another being at every level of his existence.

A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.

If you are ready to share your life with a canine, if you as parents really, really want a dog – then and only then does a dog make a wonderful Christmas surprise.