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3 Tips to Avoid Being Late to Your Own Presentation

Time is an essential factor in most professional presentations.

It’s important to keep yourself on a schedule not only before your speech, but after it as well. However, even with the precautions against poor time management, people still end up showing late to meetings and presentations.

As a listener, tardiness is slightly forgivable. As a speaker, however, being late could cost you your credibility and your listeners.

If you’ve been late to your own presentation before, repeating your mistake definitely sends out the wrong message. People might stop attending your talks once you’ve become associated with tardiness. It doesn’t matter if it’s five or thirty minutes. People will remember.

Be on time by following three tips:

Don’t Stall

Lateness is often associated with laziness. According to management consultant Diana DeLonzor in her book, Never Be Late Again, this image is countered by a type of tardiness that’s caused by wanting to cram too many things in too short a time. In trying to get everything done at once, you might lose track of time and forget to get going.

If you find yourself identifying as a crammer, don’t let it get in the way of proper planning. Keeping a timetable to track your progress avoids procrastination. The definite outline of a set schedule prevents you from squeezing in any extra last-minute activities.

Know what time your presentation is going to start and plan your agenda around that. Give yourself a five-minute allowance for any unexpected complications you may encounter mid-preparation. Having spent all your time, gather all the materials you need and leave.

Don’t stall with extra activities. Get up and go.

Prepare for Downtime

Studies show that late people are really afraid of being early. Being punctual may trigger a deep-seated fear of not knowing what to do.

For presenters, arriving before the audience causes anxiety while waiting for the room to fill up. In such cases, learn to plan for the downtime. You don’t have to sit idly and let your stage fright consume you. There are a number of helpful activities you can do before your presentation. You can start doing warm-up drills that can improve your body language. It’s also possible to do some breathing exercises to ease your nerves. Simple things like stretching and taking deep breaths will keep you preoccupied long enough.

Once you’ve established that you have something to do with the spare time, you’ll find it easier to come on time.

Be Mindful

The most effective way to combat lateness is to be mindful. Check the time every now and then to see if you’re still on track. You may lose yourself in preparation and forget about doing the other things you need to do.

Another timetable comes in handy here. Being aware of how much time you spend on a task lets you improve your pace. However, this isn’t limited to pre-presentation. You can also apply this to your actual speech. Monitor yourself as you speak and make sure to end on time. Keeping your audience longer than the allotted span will also frustrate them and make them zone out on you.


Learn to overcome your tardiness.

Don’t stall during your preparation. Once you’re done, head out the door. If you arrive early and get anxious with the long wait, prepare activities to keep you busy during the downtime. Be mindful of the time you spend on everything to avoid upsetting your audience.

Delivering a good presentation involves improving all aspects of your performance, including your time management.

Need help with your presentation? Contact our SlideGenius experts today and get a free quote!



Durayappah, Adoree. “The Real Reason Some of Us Are Chronically Late.” Psychology Today. November 14, 2014.
“Here’s How You Can Stop Being Late All the Time.” Time. May 22, 2014.


Featured Image: “Time” by Moyan Brenn on

Presentational Time Management: Plan Effective Presentations

Time is a valuable but scarce resource, with the art of time management being one of the hardest to master. However, successfully incorporating time management in one’s work is very rewarding. Learning how to use time management in planning presentations can ensure desired results.

With technological advancement coming in left and right, people are becoming more and more used to the fast transfer of information. Research shows that the average human attention span has been recorded to have fallen from twelve to eight seconds in the past fifteen years. To get the meat of the point across in the simplest and quickest way possible, a presentation must be well-organized. The only way to do that is through intensive planning.

Manage your time with the following tips:

1. Focus on Developing Your Ideas

How should you angle your presentation? What are the interests of your audience? The bulk of your planning should go to figuring out what you want to say and how you’re going to say it. According to leadership coach Jeff Boss, having a set objective helps you track your progress, and also lessens the distraction of side ideas that may be irrelevant to your main point.

Key in on main ideas to avoid rambling towards the middle of your pitch. Stay anchored on the topic with organized key points.

2. Consider Your Visuals

Once you have your content in place, it’s time to figure out the visual aspect of your presentation. The thing is, fitting your material into the appropriate visual tools can be time-consuming. In this aspect, seeking the assistance of specialists saves up time and guarantees harmonious content and design for a more effective pitch.

If you want to try it out on your own, starting out with a basic deck can still be engaging. Just develop your slides with the right color combination and arresting visuals instead of wordy paragraphs to catch the audience’s attention.

3. Prepare Back-Up

Of course, all necessary precautions must be made. Even the most seasoned speakers come across hurdles during the actual presentation, and these are the scenarios you have to be ready for. Spend the remaining time before your presentation practicing your delivery, double-checking content, and drafting backup plans for anything you missed during your initial preparation.

You won’t be able to catch all the blind spots in your pitch, but you’ll be able to weed out most of them through meticulous planning. Also take note of past mistakes that you can work on, or get audience feedback during your Q&A.

It’s Your Time to Shine

Time management in preparation is often a task in itself. Knowing what you want to get across allows you to decide which parts of your presentation you have to focus on developing.

In order to save up time, outline your ideas well, don’t hesitate to ask for help, and be ready for the unexpected.


Boss, Jeff. “3 Strategies to Maximize Your Time.” Entrepreneur. February 20, 2015. Accessed October 1, 2015.
Watson, Leon. “Humans Have Shorter Attention Span than Goldfish, Thanks to Smartphones.” The Telegraph. May 15, 2015. Accessed October 1, 2015.

Featured Image: Time is ticking out” by mao_lini from