power your advice

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.