As a professional speaker, you’ll run into situations where an event has gone off schedule and your time may be cut. First and foremost, be gracious. Know that the event coordinator wouldn’t cut your time if they didn’t have to. They have a lot to manage, and they must make hard decisions to have a successful event. It’s not personal if they cut your time. You need to accept it. Remember, as a speaker, you need to be on their team.
Furthermore, don’t say anything about how your time was cut to the audience. In other words, no complaining. Don’t let the audience know what happened. If you had 20 minutes and now you have 10 minutes, do not mention it. Take out some of the meat of your speech and deliver a powerful presentation. Keep your beginning and end, your sales piece, and your rapport building. No one will ever know.
Be Gracious & Grateful
The organizer could have cut you completely out of the program if they are running out of time, so be gracious. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, being gracious in all your interactions with event hosts could help you get on other people’s stages.
Afterward, communicate with the organizer, ask ‘Was that okay, did I cut off enough time.’ and of course, always say “Thank you.” This can go a long way towards them inviting you back and offering you another speaking opportunity.
At one of my live events, and we had to get out of the hotel on the second day by a certain time. It was early and we didn’t know that the contract didn’t have a 24-hour hold clause, meaning they couldn’t book an event behind us. This particular time there was another event coming in right after us so we had to get out of the room in a hurry. I had to tell one of our speakers they had to cut the time of their talk. I felt bad about it. But I explained the situation to the speaker, and then told him that ‘I want you to come back next year.’ That speaker loved that, he didn’t even mind that I had to cut his time. If you are a host and find yourself in a situation where you need to cut some time, offer another opportunity to speak.
Need more support to make the most of any speaking engagement and shine on stage? Join me at the upcoming Million Dollar Speaker Summit.