Tips for Ignite Speakers by Ignite Speaker Cory Forsyth
1. 15 seconds is way shorter than you think.
Be careful not to try to cram too much information into a slide. A good rule of thumb is you want about 1-3 sentences per slide, max. To get a feel for your own pacing, mock up 2 or 3 slides in powerpoint and then run the show in 'rehearse timings' mode and see how long it takes you.
You only have 5 minutes. Speaking concisely and quickly , it will take you between 45 and 75 seconds (3 and 5 slides) to explain a simple example or tell a short story. Accounting for transitions and filler, this only gives you time for 3-5 major points. So keep it simple.
3. Chunk Your Information
Chunk your talk into the major points/anecdotes that served as timing 'checkpoints.' Practice talking through each of those until you have a good sense for how much time you need for each point. This gives you a little more control of your timing. It's easier to slow down than speed up, so if you find yourself getting to the end of a 'chunk' ahead of your slides, you can slow down and emphasize. This is good for the audience too; they'll be able to understand you better. When the first slide of your next chunk appears you can launch into it, confident that you're right on time.
Rambling makes your talk boring. Figure out what you want to say and practice it until it becomes automatic. Try writing a script and practice reading from it. In addition to practicing what you're going to say you need to practice how quickly you're going to say it. Don't be afraid to mumble or even talk out loud while you're practicing.
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