Take control of meetings with Meeting Timer

Display how much time you have left to talk with this free visual aid.

Let's get right to the point: Meeting Timer from EXP Systems is a software-based visual aid that can help you take control of meetings. This simple freeware helps individuals keep track of the time they've been speaking even as they speak. Just set the allotted time, and Meeting Timer displays a blue bar graph on the far right side of your screen as well as the remaining time in minutes. When the blue is gone, time's up. It's effective not only for keeping meetings from getting out of control but also in classrooms; teachers can use Meeting Timer to help students learn public speaking, to moderate debates, or to show how much time is left on a quiz or exam.

Meeting Timer could hardly be much simpler than it is. There's a vertical bar we could drag to resize or move, with six buttons in the top panel: a Play button and 1-, 5-, 10-, 15-, and 30-minute increments. A settings button at the bottom let us change the language and show the Meeting Timer button in PowerPoint. Meeting Timer keeps it simple: we pressed 10m and the Play button. The program immediately began tracking our available time, and the Play button became a Pause button. Meeting Timer doesn't display a rolling number count, which would be distracting. Rather, its blue bar graph slowly evaporates to show how much time has elapsed and how much remains. Meeting Timer also displays the remaining minutes in a large white font that is clearly visible on the black background. Clicking Pause stops the countdown and changes the display from blue to gray. With these few simple visual cues, you can control the timing and flow of your meeting, group discussion, or class. You can even use it by yourself to practice before you speak in public.

Meeting Timer can help stop runaway trains of thought or bring the dullest speaker quickly to the point, assuming that everyone plays by the rules. It's fully compatible with MS PowerPoint and Smartboards. You can open Meeting Timer from within PowerPoint, too. An upgraded premium version is also available.

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