How Much Time Does it Take to Prepare for a Talk?

How much time does it take to prepare for a talk? The basic answer is: A LOT.




DEPENDS ON HOW GOOD YOU WANT TO FEEL WALKING INTO YOUR TALK. BUT, MORE. IT TAKES MORE.[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="30"][vc_single_image image="7163" img_size="large"][prkwp_spacer size="30"][vc_column_text]Perhaps this is not the message you'd like to get about this. I mean, we are all trying to find short-cuts in our work to save TIME and be more PRODUCTIVE.

But creating and delivering a talk that moves your audience is a PROCESS that literally never ends.

Gosh, I hope that doesn't break your sweet little heart. But it's true.

There are not shortcuts in this work.[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_text_separator title="So How Much Time - Really? "][prkwp_spacer][vc_column_text]Here are some basic benchmarks for how much time it takes to develop a talk so you can deliver it with confidence, clarity, and authenticity:

  • One of my clients spends about 50 hours with me for a single (albeit BIG) presentation. This does not count the additional hours they spend preparing on their own. We start about two months in advance, and meet weekly - if not more.
  • Elizabeth Gilbert spent 6 months memorizing her Oprah talk. To get it into her body, she walked the countryside talking to herself every day for 6 months before the presentation.
  • I am STILL evolving a talk that I started working on two years ago.
  • For many years, I watched speakers that I coached struggle on a talk that they gave probably 3x a week for an entire school year. And then, suddenly, somewhere in year two, it came to life in a new and authentic way. They put in hundreds of hours on that talk to get it there.

[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="30"][bquote type="cropped_corners" prk_in="Creating and delivering a talk that moves your audience is a process that literally never ends. "][prkwp_spacer size="30"][vc_column_text]Someone once told me that you could expect to put in about an hour of time for every minute of your talk.

Now, that time includes ALL of the time you spend preparing... from the dreaming phase, to the knowledge-building phase that has probably already been taking place for years maybe, to the actual hands-on prep that we normally think of.

But I like to share that tid-bit because it puts into perspective how very little time we give ourselves to practice and stumble and get better - to give ourselves a chance at creating a transformative and moving moment.[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="30"][vc_text_separator title="So How Do We Know If We're Ready? "][prkwp_spacer size="30"][vc_column_text]When the content is in your body - not just your head.

When you can roll with the changes and punches without getting disoriented.

When you're enjoying yourself and connecting with the audience.

When you're confident and excited.[/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="30"][vc_text_separator title="Please note: I did not say, ``When it's perfect.`` "][prkwp_spacer size="30"][vc_column_text]Oh Good LAWD, please don't go for perfection. You've heard me say it before and I'll say it again and again - "Perfection kills connection."

If it's perfect, and I'm in your audience, I don't care. I don't know you, I don't trust the content, and I am unlikely to believe you.

[But honestly, most of the time, we spend our time perfecting the CONTENT and not ever really getting to the DELIVERY - which is the biggest and most common mistake I see in talk preparation. A post for another time, my friends.][/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size="30"][vc_column_text]But for now - your focus is this:

Build out more time on your calendar. Prioritize your talk above other things. Create the time and space to give yourself the joy of really working the process of development - and just see where you can go![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][/vc_column][/vc_row]