No time left for you to speak

How to handle NO time left to speak
by Rita Risser

I was scheduled to speak last on a main stage panel where we were each supposed to talk for 10 minutes and then take Q&A for 30 minutes. The first two speakers spoke 10 minutes. The third speaker took 50 minutes, despite the fact that the meeting planner came in and told her to wrap it up. The meeting planner left and the speaker finally wrapped up at noon. She turned it over to me, telling me to go ahead and speak, going over lunch. I smiled, said I knew better than to compete with lunch and that I would be available to anyone who wanted to talk that afternoon, or by phone or email.

Results:
Audience laughed and clapped and ran out of the room.
Meeting planner couldn’t thank me enough for not talking.
Meeting planner changed the afternoon schedule and gave me 20 minutes to speak.
Several good contacts called and emailed afterwards.
Meeting planner asked me back the next year — and not the other speaker!
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The above anecdote from Rita Risser appeared in Speaker Net News.

It illustrates the important message that when it is your turn to speak you must stay within the timeline given to you and sometimes you will need to cut your presentation short - even to the point of not speaking at all.

Kudos to Rita Risser for demonstrating this so clearly.


George Torok
Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.
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