What should you do if you have a speaking opportunity but your allotted time has been cut short? This is a very common occurrence. You may have been told that you have 30 minutes to speak and as you are about to stand up to begin, the organiser of the conference, event, or meeting whispers in your ear that they are running a little behind schedule and would like you to chop it down to 20 minutes.
Now if you have prepared content for 30 minutes, what should you do to reduce it down? Unfortunately, the natural Instinct of most people is to do the absolute worst possible thing at that moment: that is to speak faster than normal and not take questions so they can go through the whole presentation. That is a big mistake.
My recommendation for you is that you have to be comfortable enough with your material and have such a strong sense of the most important ideas in your speech that you are able to focus on them only and surround your stories around them to make it memorable. If you choose to race through the content, you may instinctively strip out the stories because you think you do not have the time for that and you should instead go through all the points. But if you strip out the stories, you basically destroy the audience’s ability to remember your messages.
We already know that one of our biggest goals is to get people to remember your messages so that they can take action. If you have removed the memory device which is what the story grant your speech, you have virtually guaranteed your failure.
So simply focus on your most important points, make them more interesting with stories and examples, and talk in a conversational manner instead of complaining about the lack of time.