You can say more in 15 minutes than 35 minutes

I just killed a keynote session where I was asked to talk about Flex System Manager…our strategy and future directions.

“Great content…outstanding delivery” said one VP. “This was the first time I understood the value of this technical product” said a non-technical sales lead. “You’re like a technical rock star”, said a technical sales specialist.

But 12 hours before, I was a complete wreck.

Originally I had 35-40 minutes to talk…

…I practiced several times and was ready

Then, at 8:30pm the night before, I was told they wanted a Q&A at the end so my section was shortened to 15 minutes

My heart sunk…

…I had a great arc and story that would most likely be shattered

…I had 10 minutes of demo I was showing to illustrate what we’re delivering today that was cut

I mourned

…then I regrouped, rethought, recovered

I reshaped the talk…sharpened the story arc…cut out duplicate, less-relevant content

…and delivered a potent talk that was much more effective than my 35 minute talk

That makes me wonder? Should I do that for everything I do? For speaking: Is there a way that can take 1/2 the time yet be twice as effective? For UI Design: Is there a way to give users 1/2 the details and be twice as effective?

What if we were always given last minute changes to our best-laid plans? Would we all benefit with a reshaped and refocused effort?

What do you think?

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