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Chapter Two. Before You Speak > Is the time right?

Is the time right?

Finally, be certain that your topic—whether chosen or assigned— can be managed within the time allotted. If you're asked to speak for fifteen or twenty minutes on a subject that cries out for thirty minutes, you should decline the invitation, ask for more time, or suggest an alternate topic.

Once in a while, the opposite situation might arise. You may be allotted more time than you can reasonably fill with the assigned topic, and this situation should also raise a red flag. Trying to expand thirty minutes worth of material to fill forty-five minutes is like trying to write a thousand-word article on a subject that could easily be covered with five hundred or six hundred words. The product, whether it's an article or a speech, will be flat, tedious, and boring.


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