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Business Productivity Strategies for Success (Collection) by Daniel Silvert, Merrick Rosenberg, Mark I. Woods, Jerry Weissman, Martha I. Finney, Trapper Woods

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3. How Long Should a Presentation Last?

I can well understand the Honourable Member’s wishing to speak on. He needs the practice badly.

—Sir Winston Churchill1

Be Brief and Concise

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Every presenter is painfully aware of the short attention span of modern audiences. Jason Gay, who writes for the Wall Street Journal, captured the essence of the phenomenon perfectly:

You are busy, busy, busy! This is presumed in 2012. You are too hurried to pay cash for your coffee—oh, it’s so arduous, removing the bills from the pocket, unfolding them, handing them to the cashier, waiting for change, which can take up...to...nine...agonizing...seconds. So you pay ...

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