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English Communication Skills: Presentation- Tips for Time of Day Pitfalls

English Communication Skills: Presentation Tips for Time of Day Pitfalls Blog 199

What time of day will you be speaking or doing a presentation?  Will it make a difference? Absolutely.


Here are some pitfalls for morning presentations.  

Breakfast/early morning

  • Listeners may be groggy.  Choose a stimulating issue  or anecdote to open with. Get audience involvement by having them raise their hand in agreement or disagreement. Example: Raise your hand if you or someone you know wants to move in the next six months.
  • People may be in a rush.  Don’t do leisurely humor or drawn-out details.  At breakfast, heed the great US president Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s advice: “Be sincere, be brief, be seated.”
  • Listeners may be preoccupied with work tasks of the day.  That affects their receptivity.  Draw them into the topic with quick anecdotes or thought provoking quotations.
  • People attending may be irritable. Why? Because they had to change their morning commute to attend the meeting.


  • Listeners may need a coffee break.  Provide coffee and tea.  Otherwise listeners may head to the nearest cafeteria and miss a chunk of your presentation.
  • Attendees may need to use the restrooms.  If your listeners have been sitting for more than an hour, give them a quick three-minute break.  Otherwise, they’ll just leave in the middle anyway—interrupting other people  in the audience and distracting you.
  • People may need to check in to their office for messages.  Again, a three minute break is good to give them a chance to make a quick call without bothering the whole room.  Don’t give them too long, or they may get bogged down with expanded work details

Immediately before lunch

  • Listeners are hungry and probably can’t concentrate well.  If no one asks any questions before lunch, it doesn’t mean they are bored only that they’d rather go eat.  A good alternative is to invite people to ask questions throughout your presentation.  Be sure to keep questions and answers in check so you don’t run overtime.  Audiences are very forgiving – except for making them late for lunch.
  • Listeners have been sitting all morning and may need to stretch.  Invite them to stand up and take a thirty-second “stretch break” right at their seats.
  • Listeners may get “information overload.”  Supplement your speaking with handouts so people can review material later.

Next time: What about lunch presentations?

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercises. Copyright Clear Talk Mastery 2021 (140702)

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