Here is a public speaking tip of the day: it is an oldie but a goodie, no matter what time I use it in, it would still be applicable. Show up early, and start on time.
I know that you must be thinking that this is not very profound of me but let me tell you: I have seen some speakers rush in at the last minute they can technically be on time, and then they want to wait for ten to fifteen minutes. Why? Because their egos are so big that if one person who is supposed to be there is not, they want to wait for them. So they are punishing those people who actually showed up on the given time.
I do not like to do that. For starters, I like to get to any speaking engagement as early as I can. If there is tech involved, I would be there an hour early. If just have to show up to speak to a small group, then I will go fifteen minutes in advance. I will go around and shake everyone’s hands.
But then when it is time to start, unless 90 percent of the people are absent, I start. If there is an important block of people that are not there yet, I will do what I call a soft start. I will let them know that since they are on time, I will not punish them and will begin on time and then I will give them some nuggets of interesting information. Often, I will say: “Let’s start with your questions while we wait for your colleagues.”
Do not punish them for doing the right thing. Go early, and start on time.