Several fellow speakers found out a couple weeks before the conference that our time had been shortened from 1 hour to 30 minutes. Some have been able to adjust admirably. Some, not so well. Here are a few lessons learned from both groups. First, what not to do:
- Fail to rewrite your talk and decide to speak twice as twice as fast.
- Skip over examples and definitions to save time.
- When asked a question, say "No, that's not what I'm saying!" while pointing your forefinger at the questioner.
- Ignore the moderator when he/she tells your that your time is up, so you can get to the interesting results
- Stop abruptly at the end of a slide because the moderator tells you your time is up.
- Get frazzled by the lack of time, and fail attribute results properly (either to yourself or to other parts of the literature).
- Answer a question during your talk as "That's not pertinent to the main subject of my talk." If you are short on time, non-pertinent details should not appear.
Talks I've heard go successfully in this timing change share some of the following characteristics:
- Overview talks that don't focus on the details of a project, but give a general overview of a research program, along with key results.
- Lots of pictures/graphs of key information.
- Presentations stopped at the end of an interesting result, even if there were more results originally planned in the talk.