A Word to Students: Do not presume that you will ever have the luxury of “extra time.” When training for competition, be diligent about performing, practicing, and timing your speeches. Edit/cut a speech that is running overtime. Honor the time limits specified in the rules for your event earnestly. No exceptions.
A Word to Judges: Communication is an organic, dynamic phenomenon. Depending on any number of elements, a speaker may go over or under a time limit. Consider all aspects of the speech and its overall impact carefully. The final decision is yours as to how much you will let the duration of the speech impact your ranking, but try never to reduce a message to mere numbers alone. Be merciful when you can.
A Word to All: Remember that any speech or presentation actually begins when you first enter the room. Attitude and body language start sending messages well before we open our mouths to speak. Make every moment count.