Limiting public speaking time is one of the more obscure speaker skills. It will separate the pros from the rookies.
Most programs will have time schedules to follow. No speaker is so important that they should take liberty of the audiences time. Timing is an essential public speaking skill.
So how do the pros go about limiting public speaking time?
Start buy adjusting the timing of each part of your talk.
Timing and the Introduction
The length of the introduction needs to be appropriate to the length of the talk. The timing of the introduction is determined by the length.
For a 5 to 6 minute talk, the introduction needs only be about a minute. A 15 minute talk could be 2 minutes. A 45 to 60 minute talk could stretch out to 5-6 minutes.
Timing and the Conclusion
The length of the conclusion is usually slightly less than that of the introduction. So a 5-6 minute introduction will have a four to five minute conclusion.
The Body Timing
If our talk is 45 minutes, the introduction and conclusion take up a combined total of 10 minutes. This leaves 35 minutes for the body.
How to Manage Timing
When practicing, most speakers find the have too much material. No problem, just talk faster. That would be a disaster. Although people can listen fast, the ability to assimilate the information is dependent of the individual listener.
First start cutting. Cut everything that is extra. Cut everything that is not to the point.
Make the talk tightly focused on your theme and your most wanted response.
Check your timing. You might be right on or a bit over. If you are just starting to advance into speechmastery, you may be talking too much. Cut some more.
If you can not cut any more, look at what your saying. Can you say anything more concisely and not lose the meaning you intend? Like the concept of white space in art and advertising, there needs to be silent space in your talk. Time to allow reflection and thought on what your saying. Time to absorb what you share.
Your pauses need only be a few seconds each. Speak with a slower pace, and you may still have too much material. Cut some more.
Now practice, practice, practice. Practice it to get it in your head. More importantly, practice is for getting it in your heart. Practice speaking from your heart to reach the heart of the audience. And for the sake of this speaker skill, practice for limiting public speaking time to the amount allotted for your talk.