When I came to the platform to speak to the audience, I could sense energy among the listeners. They were ready to listen. In just a matter of moments, Dr. Ishola had awakened the audience and set the stage for me to deliver a powerful twenty-minute presentation to motivate key leaders to synergize their efforts for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Due to the high respect that the leaders had for Dr. Ishola, he was able to release enough time for me to share in the middle of the afternoon.
In spring of 2009, I traveled as a guest to several denominational ministers' conferences to motivate pastors to go out and help redeem the world. At one, the district superintendent brought a video presentation on church planting. The video presentation was cheaply done, lacked excellence, and was far too long, running nearly fifteen minutes. A video is considered too long at eight minutes, about right at four minutes. It was already late in the evening, so about three minutes into the video, I could see that most of the audience had mentally checked out. Upon the video's end, the leader proceeded to continue speaking of the need for church planting and challenged the people to give a generous offering toward the effort. I do not know what the offering was, but I am certain it was not a record amount!
In this instance, it would have far better to make this presentation much shorter in order to gain the attention of the audience. When a presenter does not know his or her audience and does not have a sense of timing, he or she will cause a misconnect with his audience. We need to remember that the length of a presentation is not determined by the clock but by the crowd.