If like me you deliver a lot of presentations at conferences, you will realise how important it is that the speaker keeps to the time allotted, otherwise conference sessions and lunch breaks can drag on aimlessly.
Thankfully, help is at hand with an iPhone and iPad app called Presentation Clock.
UPDATE 1 (Feb 2010): Even Forner Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, or at least the crew interviewing him, seems to be using the app (see bottom right of the picture below – from Bloomberg Businessweek February 7th 2010 edition).
UPDATE 2 (Sept 2016): The app has finally been updated!
Simplicity is what makes it an amazing app, and when used on the iPad, it becomes the presenter’s best friend. Just set the maximum time, and 2 warning points (the display changes from green to yellow and then to red at times you set.
Often at conferences, it is the Chair’s job to keep speakers to time, and having done this job before it is not always easy. You generally get a 5 or 2 minute warning, and only then do you realise that you’re woefully out of time with “only 15 more slides left to present”.
What I found was that because I could casually glance across at the huge numbers on a regular basis, I knew how on-time I was throughout the whole presentation – rather than rushing towards the end when told you are close to or out of time.
What is interesting is that it keeps counting (up) once you get to zero, so you either can see how good the presentation was by the length of time being taken up by questions, or how woefully overtime you still are.
For those that present for a living, you can appear more professional and respect both the organisers and the audience that little bit more by using this app.
5 stars for the app, and at just £0.59 / $0.99 can you afford not to grab it now from the iTunes store?