By Peter Mosley
(Links to previous parts at bottom of the article)
How much time goes into researching, writing, and preparing for a speech?
According to an article I read, it takes clergymen about seven hours to prepare a 20-minute sermon. Terry C. Smith, a presentations expert and author of the book Making Successful Presentations, says that to give his best effort requires one hour of preparation for every minute he will talk.
Of course, the time you must spend to prepare your talk depends on several factors: your experience and skill in public speaking, your technical knowledge of the topic, whether the assistance of a company technical writer is available, and the importance of the talk. Also, it takes considerably less time to brush up an old presentation than to create a new one. The point, however, is that preparing a memorable address requires many hours–much more time than inexperienced speakers ever dream would be required. Plan your schedule accordingly so you can give your talk the attention it deserves.