First Consider The School Assembly Audience
When you’re putting on a school assembly for a single class or maybe two classrooms, then you want to make sure it isn’t overly long. Being a little brief, if possible, is a good idea as you’re trying to hold the attention of fewer people. When you have that intimacy with the audience, that connection is how your assembly lives or dies. Too much time and they lose focus. Too little time, though, and your presentation will be little more than “hi, how are you, have a great rest of your day!”
With larger groups, you can take a little longer as your passion for the subject matter needs to be demonstrated along with your knowledge of it. That said, the same principles still apply, but you can get away with a bit more length.
You also need to understand the demographics. A 45-minute assembly is probably pushing the limit of first-grade students’ attention spans without a tremendous amount of engagement. With high-school students, you may not want to go beyond 90 minutes. Some might argue for keeping it under 60.
Keep School Assembly Material In Mind As Well
It isn’t that you aren’t providing vital information, but the typical school assembly is not a technical conference. You need to present the information you’re there to convey, but you also don’t need to repeat yourself ad nauseam.
In other words, when you’re putting together a school assembly, you should take time for review at multiple stages. Make sure that you’re covering what you need to cover, but make sure you also aren’t rehashing the same thing over and over again. The audience won’t appreciate it.
However, you also don’t want to rush through the presentation. You need adequate time to get through the material, with enough space to breathe but only just. School assemblies need to get the attention of students and not relinquish the hold.
Too much air in the conversation and their attention will wander.
Therefore, make sure you go over the material several times before you start putting your presentation on. You should be well-drilled and ready to go out there, make connections and an impact.
What’s the ideal length of a school assembly? An exact figure is hard to arrive at, since it depends on a lot of things. Long enough for your message to be received, but short enough to keep your audience riveted.
Also, remember: it’s okay to leave them wanting a little more.