It’s common to get the rambles. Some people do it because they are nervous, and have trouble making concise points. Others will talk too much because they are not prepared and get lost trying to find their way from Point A to Point B.
Rambling may be one of your presentation habits, or perhaps being long-winded is something you want to make sure you avoid in the future. Either way, here are four ways to ditch the rambling for a more engaging and succinct speech.
When you speak too fast with the rambles, it can be hard to hear what it is you are saying. Your brain has to work overtime to catch up with your mouth. It could be you start to repeat things over and over again, or even worse, start to ramble on about an unrelated topic! Slow down when you give a presentation, so that you can put the brakes on when needed.
Be sure to review your presentation preparation. Have you decided what your main points will be? Do you have clear and relevant supporting details, examples and anecdotes to include? Have you practiced? Do the above and you will be able to keep a steady flow of relevant content during your speech.
One easy way to veer off-topic and begin to ramble is when people ask questions in the middle of your presentation. Ask participants to hold their questions until the end so that you will be able to stick to your presentation flow.
Set Time Limit
You may feel inclined to ramble on and on when there’s no time limit in place, or when you don’t have enough information to reach a time limit. When you’re in the organization and preparation phase of your presentation, play around with the timing of the presentation. Having a time limit enables you to gauge the amount of information to include.
When you are rehearsing for the presentation and you find yourself starting to ramble, stop and take control. Put these practices into place and stay on topic. Set a time limit, stay organized, and slow down. And don’t forget to hold questions until the end, it will help you and, ultimately, your audience.