Had a faithful reader submit today’s nugget. He was on a conference call where the first stated objective was to end on time. And then they didn’t. It went on and on. And on.I’ve been in similar situations. Problem with this situation is you haven’t been given permission to leave. If it’s a sales call, you can’t leave for fear of being asked a question and showing yourself AWOL. If you’re the expert, you might be needed. Usually these situations degrade into just a few people talking among themselves and the rest of the folks just hanging around. The problem is clearly with the facilitator.And the problem may be worse live. If anyone asks a question, the three people so enamored with the content all light up, while everyone else glares at them. From the presenter/facilitator side of the docket, you’ve lost the majority of your audience, and now the end will come on their (negative) terms rather than on your terms. Whatever conclusion/wrap-up you had planned will not go over well. You want to give clients a chance to ask questions, but you need to end with a position of power, a call to action, and a compelling reminder of why you are there. “Well, I guess we’re out of time and some of you probably need to go about now” isn’t such an ending.

End on your terms. End on time.

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