Most businesses and organizations based in the USA hold meetings by using agendas. To keep the meeting going smoothly and to conclude on time, each individual or group is provided an pre-arranged, allotted amount of time. Each speaker and presenter must use his allotted time wisely to convey his information or presenting his argument, or he risk time running out before they conclude their speech. To help prevent this, the use of a signal light or timing light is an effective tool for those meetings.
Timing lights and signal lights are definitely effective and are popular with many speakers. Organizations such as Toastmasters International promote the use of these lights for training purposes. Many of the approximately 300,000 worldwide Toastmasters members around the world benefit from the use of signal and timing lights
When timing lights are used during training, the speaker develops a subconscious sense of timing for the delivery of his speech. He develops a right tempo and is at ease for his delivery which makes him a more effective and dynamic speaker. Developing a good technique for timely speech delivery is decidedly important. When given a maximum allotted delivery time, the speaker can determine an early breakpoint to begin his concluding remarks and a warning breakpoint to indicate the approaching time deadline.
For example, a speech allotted time of seven minutes will usually have the early breakpoint time set at five minutes. High-quality timing devices will give an indication of this breakpoint by illuminating the green LED light. At six minutes time, the second breakpoint is reached and the yellow LED light will be illuminated. Finally, the red LED light will appear at seven minutes. In the Toastmasters training program, a thirty second grace period is allowed following the illumination of the red LED light.
The primary benefits of using LEDs verses incandescent bulbs is LED lights consume less power and batteries last longer, and have a longer life than bulbs, saving money on replacement bulbs and batteries. Another benefit is the lack of an extension cord used with incadescent bulb operations. These cords pose a logistics problem as where to plug into the wall AND they are a tripping hazzard.
Easy to See and Decipher
Signal timing lights that incorporate colored lights as indicators are easier to see from a distance and require less mental processing by the speaker than clocks or numeric displays. Some speakers who normally wear glasses do not wear them when speaking in public and are not able to read numeric displays easily.
Software-based or digital timing lights require the use of an iPad or tablet, smartphone, or notebook; a substantial investment for a club. These require the individual (timekeeper) that is holding/running the device to be able to see the screen while simultaneously holding the screen in the direction of the speaker. Depending upon the seating arrangement, this often places the timekeeper in an awkward and uncomfortable position. You should choose a timing light or signal light that has indicators on two sides, one for speaker and another for the timekeeper.
Some speech timing lights require the use of a laptop, notebook, or computer USB port for power and to control the lights. This creates an overly-complex way to simply alert the speaker he has reached a breakpoint. The downloaded software may not work with all operating systems (OS) and may require updates to continue to function when the OS is updated.
Some software-based or "automatic" timing lights do not have a "reset" button nor provide a way to stop or pause a timing process that has been started. This results in the timekeeper to having to continue to run the ongoing process to the end before starting a new timing session.
Mermbership Not Required
You do not have to be a member of Toastmasters International to benefit from using signal lights. Civic clubs, school debate teams, not for profit organizations and many other groups have used these lights to enhance their training.
There is no substitute for proper speech preparation. The study of the speech subject matter and references, and sufficient practice all aid in an effective delivery. However, timing alone can make or break an otherwise high quality presentation. Using a timing light in practice and in the field helps astute public speakers become remarkable public speakers..
Some timing lights are large and bulky, even, unsightly. These timing lights are compact and small enough to fit in medium to large purses for easy transport. Because of their size, these lights are easily stored in most storage areas.
Decision to Buy
These timing lights are hand assembled with many parts custom cut, soldered, glued, and drilled. The price is modest especially since the manufacturer has great confidence in the quality of the timing lights and guarantees them for three years. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want fatigue free time sequencing indicators?
- Do I want compact size?
- Do I want cordless, safe operation?
- Am I willing to spend a modest amount of funds for a device that will serve my needs?
If so, click
to purchase a timing light.