After selecting your presentation topic and choosing a presentation format, the next thing that you should determine is the length of the presentation. This is crucial as your participants would need such details in order for them to plan their schedule. Also, you have to take into consideration factors such as whether the length of the presentation is too short or simply too long winded.
So how can you determine the suitable length for your presentation? There are two main things that you should based your decision upon. Firstly, it is the amount of materials that you wish to convey to your audience. A good and effective method to gauge this is to simply take a look at your presentation slides, notes and materials. It is essential to think through the message that you would like to put across for your seminar based on your materials. After making preparations for all of these, try doing a dry run in front of a mirror or better still, in front of your family members and/or friends. While doing the presentation, remember to time yourself or get someone to time it for you. This will enable you to have a rough idea of how long you would require. Repeat the presentation two to three times just to guarantee that the timing is accurate. Also, do not forget to set aside some time for the question and answer session with your audience at the end of the seminar.
Secondly, always keep in mind the needs of your audience. You can based this upon their demographics as well as interests. However, the most ideal way of figuring out the needs of your audience is by putting yourself in their shoes. Pretend that you are the one attending the seminar. Based on the topic and description of the seminar, think about what exactly you would be expecting to learn and take with you after attending it. Do try getting opinions from your family members and friends too. This would provide you with a clearer idea about the needs of your audience, so that you will be able to cater towards them.
Here are some examples. If you are offering a course that grants the participant with a certificate at the end, you might require it to be a two-to-three-day program. However, if you are conducting a seminar about stress management, you could probably complete it within two to four hours.