Frequently, people lose track of time while giving a presentation or running a meeting, and it goes over (potentially WAY over).
This situation can occur in both in-person meetings and in video chat meets.
In order to make it intuitively obvious to a presenter that they are going over time, we can harness humanities deep-seated and primal ties to THE SUN.
In addition to being required for life on Earth, the Sun provides an intuitive way to measure the passing of time.
For this presentation-timing system, we will have an artificial “sun timer” that progresses from dawn (beginning of presentation) to noon (middle of allotted time) to sunset (presentation has now used up all of its time).
Figure 1 shows a mockup where three vertical TV screens (left side) are used as artificial windows. If the presenter can see the run rapidly traveling across the sky, they’ll be reminded of exactly how much time is left.
This system could also be enhanced in the following ways:
- The overhead lights could be synchronized to the day/night transition, getting brighter as the presentation moves from dawn to noon, then slowly dimming until nightfall.
- The room’s audio system could play the sounds of crickets chirping or wolves howling once night falls, to really underscore that a presentation has gone over time. The volume could continually increase until the presenter’s audio is completely overwhelmed by shrieking bats and howling wolves.
PROS: Would save many hours for large companies that would otherwise be squandered in over-time meetings. It would be irresponsible not to implement this system!
CONS: Employees who are not in the meeting might hear the chirping of crickets at the conclusion of an 11:00 AM meeting and (erroneously concluding that it was nighttime) would leave work extremely early.