[Image by Karolina Grabowska of Pixabay]

It’s not uncommon for public speakers to hear these words: “You now have 30 minutes to present instead of 60 minutes.” Uh-oh…what can you do? By the way, speaking fast is NOT an option. (I’ve told my clients that and they know that speaking fast is simply not the solution.)

Now you’re wondering if this really happens to speakers and the answer is yes it does.  I recommend you come prepared for this scenario when it occurs. Here are my recommendations:

  1. Develop your presentation in segments (e.g., opening, first point, examples, second point, examples, closing).
  2. Time yourself as part of your practice.  Do this multiple times and be sure you do so out loud. This way you have a good idea of how long each section takes.
  3. If you’re running over time, cut down on the examples for each point. So, you may want one story as opposed to two or more.
  4. See if you can reduce your sentences and remove extraneous words that don’t serve you well.
  5. If you’ve created a slide deck, consider having a couple of versions of your slides so you can shift to a shorter one.  (You may also opt to “hide” certain slides as a timesaver.) 
  6. Let’s say you have various interactive activities.  Consider cutting back on them.  As an option, you may decide to have them be homework or you can upload them to a server so attendees can follow-up on them and still derive benefit.

Always remember that less is more and when it comes to time it’s vitally important to practice. When you stay within your allotted time frame it helps multiple people–the audience, event planner, speaker following you, etc.

Now you know how to cut back and if you want any help, please contact me at dale@profitablespeech.com or 518-664-6004.