For any public speaker, a TEDx conference is like the ultimate collection of the most refined speeches at one place. But did you know, every speaker at the TED conference too has a time limit – 18 minutes to be exact.
If a TED conference has a pre-defined time limit for each speaker, its only natural that Toastmasters has it too. Here is a beautiful introduction for your role as a Timer that uses this small trivia to explain the significance of timer in a Toastmasters meeting.
One of the most frequent requests Chris Anderson receives is to give people more time. Chris Anderson, for your information, is the organsier of the TED conferences, the talent show for public speaking. Each speaker is allotted 18 minutes and is expected to wrap his or her speech on a topic they specialize in within that time.
Chris believes that when speakers have a time limit, they harness their inner creativity to craft a crisp speech that has substance as well as holds people interest. Give speakers a free hand and most would begin to blabber on stage.
Expressing yourself in as few words as possible is an important skill – it makes sure your audience does not lose interest while you deliver everything that matters.
Which is why we here in Toastmasters as well have a pre-defined time limit like TED for each section to make you more creative and effective.
For the prepared speech section, the time allotted is 5 to 7 minutes. At 5 minutes I will flash the green card, at 6 the yellow and at 7 the red card.
For the Table Topic session the time allotted is 1 to 2 minutes. At 1 minute, I will flash the green card, at 1.5 the yellow and at 2 the red card.
And for the speech evaluations, the time limit is 2 to 3 minutes. At 2 minutes, I will flash the green card, at 2.5 the yellow and at 3 minutes the red card.
There is a grace period of 30 seconds after the red card is flashed each time to wrap up your speech.
I hope all the speakers strive to be within their allotted time limit. I will be back with my report towards the end of the meeting.
I am sure this should convince members in your club to pay more attention to their time limits.