by Charles Hale

1) Ten-Minute Rule.  Each presenter is allowed ten minutes to present. One of the issues/questions we’ve been confronted with is “What is the best way to keep a presenter from exceeding ten minutes? It’s been suggested we use a timer that buzzes or use hand signals. We’d rather not do either if we can avoid it so we ask that presenters read their work aloud before the Salon. We did a few trial runs and it seems1400 words at a moderate pace will very likely take about ten minutes.  We generally read much faster and can read many more words when we read silently, so when you are rehearsing your work, please read it aloud, as you would in front of the group. Some can do a few more words and some a few less few less but we believe 1400 words is a pretty fair estimate.  Since we can press a button on our computer and come up with a word count, we suggest a presenter do that first, then read it aloud.

2) Projecting One’s Voice.  Some people don’t project their voices as well as others. We’re not voice coaches so we are not able to coach people about voice projection, but if you think you fall into that category we suggest you step closer to microphone, while holding your story higher, rather than lower, so you are speaking directly into the microphone. Further, since we are an informal group we don’t think we’d be ruffling anyone’s feathers if we called out “Can you speak up a little.”

3) Include Links in the Blog If anyone would like to include a link to their website or blog in Charles Hale’s write-up we’re happy to do that. Just let Charles know during the evening what you’d prefer. We’ve done this for a number of people.

4) Q&A and Feedback The whole idea of the Salon is to allow members to present in a warm and supportive atmosphere, including, if a presenter would like, answering questions or receiving feedback. If you’d like comments or questions you should announce that before or after you’ve presented; however, we’d still like to keep the presentations to ten minutes so if you’d like a little discussion you should limit your presentation, perhaps to 7 minutes, which will allow three minutes for critiquing. Two more thoughts on this: Once a presenter expresses that he or she welcomes comments there may be some in the audience who might prefer to share their thoughts.  The ideal time for that would be during the break or at the end of the Salon. And, if you are a frequent presenter, you might want to forego a reading and have a ten-minute Q and A or advice seeking session with the audience.