How Long Is TOO Long for an Onboarding Presentation?

When it comes to onboarding presentations, engagement matters. If the new hires aren’t engaged, they won’t learn or retain the information that’s being shared, and that can be problematic depending on which details they miss.

One of the biggest challenges is that sitting and listening to a person speak for lengthy periods can be uncomfortable. Many people will begin to fidget or, in some cases, may struggle not to drift off to sleep, even if the information is important. Essentially, the passive nature of the interaction can create difficulties, making it hard for incoming employees to stay engaged.

Ultimately, it’s crucial that onboarding presentations be well-timed. If you are wondering how long is too long for an onboarding presentation, here is what you need to know.

There’s No Perfect Length

First, it’s critical to acknowledge that there isn’t a magic number of minutes that’s perfect in all situations. Engagement isn’t solely about time. Instead, the way the presentation unfolds also plays a role.

In many cases, people assume that a 60-minute presentation on a single topic is ideal, mainly because that aligns with traditional meeting, webinar, and class schedules. It’s easy to carve up a day into one-hour blocks, often leading it to become a default.

However, the biggest determining factor in engagement is how interesting the material seems. For example, many professionals discuss having issues paying attention during one-hour meetings, but those same people may have no difficulty maintaining their focus during a three-hour movie.

Ultimately, you need to gauge your onboarding presentation from several perspectives, including whether it’s intriguing, entertaining, or otherwise attention-grabbing. That will often be a bigger determiner in what constitutes “too long” than anything else.

Choosing the Right Amount of Time for Your Onboarding Presentation

If you want to make sure that your onboarding presentation isn’t too long. Your best source of information is your new hires. Not only should you observe how they are reacting during the presentation, allowing you to estimate their level of engagement, but you should also solicit feedback.

At times, you may even want to experiment with several approaches. For example, you could take a two-hour presentation and divide it into two pieces. You can do this by presenting one half on the employee’s first day and the other half on the second or separating the halves with a lunch break.

It’s also wise to see if you can make your onboard presentation more active. A lively discussion, actively working through scenarios, or answering questions is almost always more engaging than listening to a presenter give a speech. By finding ways to get the new hires involved, you could potentially have a longer presentation, as engagement is remaining high.

Ultimately, a presentation is too long any time where engagement falls significantly. When that occurs, learning is hindered, and that’s what matters. If engagement is a problem, rethink the time, approach, or both. Find opportunities to reengage listeners, or give them breaks to let them rest and recharge.

If engagement isn’t an issue and your presentation is proving effective, don’t worry about the clock. You’re accomplishing your goal with the approach you’re using, meaning it’s the right amount of time for what you’re trying to do.

If you’d like to learn more about effective onboarding practices, the team at Apogee Managed Solutions can help. Contact us today.



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