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Changing Your Presentation: When Is It Too Late?


Changing Your Presentation: When Is It Too Late?

In theory, it’s never too late. You can make changes to your presentation anytime. But – and this is a big but – changes always present a cost.

Sometimes changes pose a financial cost:

  • rush fees for a graphic designer to fix your PowerPoint
  • rush fees for a speechwriter to rewrite your notes
  • higher costs to rent rehearsal space
  • higher production rates
  • the need for additional proofreading

Sometimes changes pose an opportunity cost:

  • What could you be doing if you weren’t making your 11th change? (What should you be doing?)
  • Does changing the content mean you’ll have less time for rehearsals?
  • Could redesigning your PPT take away from Q&A preparation?
  • Do ongoing changes hurt staff morale?
  • Do last-minute changes introduce errors/typos?

Whether it’s a financial cost or an opportunity cost: Either way, you’ll pay. And the later you make those changes, the more they will cost. Beware night-before rewrites.

The best way to avoid changes? Plan. If you plan your presentation carefully, you’ll be less likely to require last-minute changes.

Always prepare an outline before you script your remarks or do your PowerPoint. The more you understand your content and your audience, the more you can remain in control of your presentation.

As a speaker, ask yourself, “How much am I willing to sacrifice for hasty changes? Money? Quality? Frustration? Lost sleep? Less rehearsal time?”

Yes, errors absolutely do need to be fixed. Other items? Not so much.

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