The video seems down. So I don’t know what it was like. But I’ll take a blind stab at this anyway:
You did not “have to” speed it up to compress it down. The other option you have is to carefully edit it, and show relevant portions and cut irrelevant portions and then gently speed those clips up if needed.
I’m guessing solely by your description and by so many reels I’ve seen, that you tried to show the entire process in one long uncut flow, and sped it up until it reached a reasonable length. Was that the case? (I’m guilty of this too. My last reel has a screencast sped up a bit too much, but I did cut vast amounts of it, just to get the flavour of what it is doing. It isn’t a tutorial. I have written documentation for the animators for that.)
The point of a reel is to show people what you can do. And sometimes it just takes a few carefully curated clips to achieve that. Imagine if an animator wanted to show their 10-minute short film, but just sped it up to fit in their 1:00 minute reel. By fitting the entire thing instead of clips, you suck the value out of showing it in the first place.