How much material?

Pre-determining the content in relation to length is always a problem. The magnitude of the task will become more obvious as you begin to practice. Remember that when you make allowances for a new setting and being interrupted by questions, the practice talk will be about 20% faster than the real presentation.

Two ways people try to reduce the length of a presentation are to speak more quickly and to reduce the number of words used. Both produce a false economy - the practice talk will fit in your time frame, but the final product won't.

In fact, one good strategy is to be very selective about what you need to say, then say only that - and say it clearly with slightly longer pauses between words than normal. Increasing the length of inter-word pauses will force you to enunciate the ending of one word and the beginning of the next word - making it easier for the audience to follow what you are saying. This is a particularly good strategy for people giving a presentation a language that is not their native language. Fewer words, spoken clearly....

Try the following suggestions to get into a good ballpark range:

That means for a 50 minute talk, you should expect to cover only about 90 concepts. One way to facilitate the process is to develop visual aids which illustrate your points clearly. Check out the accompanying tutorials for more details about preparing visual aids. Once again, if you possess idiosyncratic pronunciations (e.g., an accent) then place the troublesome word in the slide's text and point to that word as you say it - make it easy for the audience to figure out what you mean to say!

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Jeff Radel