The difference between laughing and not laughing is timing. Good comedians — standup or otherwise — can make almost anything funny if they get the timing down. Point being that your delivery is every bit as important as your material.We’ve talked about the quick and snappy nano-presentation you give every time someone asks you what you do. We’ve also touched on the shock and awe high-wire act that is the elevator pitch. Both are crucial to your business success and they depend on timing — fast timing.
The importance of timing is obvious when you don’t have much to work with, but the principles you hone when you’re trying to make your point quickly are equally vital when you have an hour or an afternoon to fill.
Once you’ve become a presentation master you can wing it, but until then it’s wise to create a script for your presentations and time yourself. If you have 15 minutes with a client, don’t take 20. If you have an hour, don’t run long. Get a stopwatch and watch it — closely, constantly, and obsessively.
In fact, if you have 15 minutes, aim for 10. That will allow for the chitchat that helps build rapport and leave time for questions. Plus, even if the client doesn’t consciously recognize it, they’ll notice that you’re quick, efficient, and get to the point — that’s never a bad impression to leave.