This week I had three different reminders of why good timekeeping is essential.
My first is an obvious example; I was on the first tee box at my Golf Club. Anthony arrived late in a flurry, apologised, stood up on the tee hurriedly and hit his ball into the deep rough.
He did this several times before settling down and demonstrating that he was a very good golfer. Too late, as he had already made a mess of the first two holes. In a nine-hole competition, his prospects of winning the competition are already over until next Sunday.
I commented to the other group member, “it’s a pity he was running late; it disrupted his game”.
The surprising reply was, he’s always late!
Important Family Occasions:
My second example was at the funeral of an old friend. My friend and her family had planned to have a funeral service in the crematorium, where they could have the occasion they wished for, with the music and speakers they would choose.
The service was a joy to attend and a great send-off for a dear friend and a wonderful wife and mother.
The only issue was that several speakers spoke for far too long, causing the service to run overtime and impinge on the funeral that followed.
What you say and the emotions you exhibit are essential, but of equal value is the time planning; ensure that everyone is aware of their allotted time.
I have spoken to you about personal situations and the importance of good timekeeping in your life.
Equally important is good timekeeping in a business situation.
Recently a client told me about a team presentation, in which they were allocated forty five minutes to deliver their presentation. The problem was the first team member was still discussing the importance of health and safety on the project as the clock passed the thirty-five-minute mark.
Was the conversation riveting, and were they given additional time to present their case?
You know the answer to that one.
The reason actors rehearse is to ensure that everyone gets to deliver their lines and the show starts and finishes on time.
Important business presentations must also do the same
It will never be all right on the night unless you have practised and rehearsed.
Back in the day:
As a very young person, I remember going to see concerts in the National Boxing Stadium. I saw some great acts there. But unfortunately, the bands often ran over time and could not understand why the audience was leaving in their droves.
The answer was straightforward, the Acts were running overtime, and the audience, back then, had at least one if not two busses to get home, and the last bus was 11.30.
Timing is critical:
Whether it’s a golf game, a funeral or the best concert of your life (Harry Chapin, Thin Lizzy, Christy Moore – add your own favourite).
My best advice:
Ensure that your presentation finishes at the appointed time as other people have plans for the rest of their day or evening, and you are not included.
Finish on time, and the audience WILL LOVE YOU.
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