Tip #10: Stick to time

Tip 10: Stick to the time limit. If your slot is 30 minutes including Q&A, you must be done in 30 minutes having had Q&A. If you aren’t, you have lost.

Sticking to time is the presenter’s responsibility, not the meeting organizer’s. In the same way that it’s rude to overstay your welcome at a party, it’s rude to overstay your slot at a pitch.

You might think that overrunning is helpful, as it gives you more time in front of a group that could fund your company. This would be wrong. If you don’t stick to your time limit, you lose credibility, are probably not telling your story effectively, and the audience is upset because the rest of the meeting’s content is disrupted.

On the other hand, if you are clearly sticking to the time rules, feel free to rub it in. “Well, that’s my pitch, right on 15 minutes. I believe we have 15 minutes for Q&A so I’d be delighted to take more of your questions.” No need to be subtle about it.