Want to do a keynote? Most people start by getting out the slides which is not the best practice for a corporate speechwriter. Here are nine questions to help you plan your talk.
- How do people perceive you now? Honestly. No,honestly. Get some unbiased feedback from someone who does not work for you. Go and get training.
- How do you want people to think of you in a years time after the next 20 talks and how does this fit into that? Put a stake in the ground. Think of this of just a series of stump talks.
- For this talk specifically, who is in the audience and what do they care about / what’s hot right now on their mind?
- What do you want them to believe / think differently after the talk? You have a chance to inform, to educate or create believers .. try for the latter.
- Whats on their mind preventing them from believing you? Your style, your company, what you are saying, their misconceptions?
- Based on this what is your one big message? (Not something you want to inform them of .. something you want them to believe). A short assertion statement that is credible, provable, different and unique to you.
- What are the 5-7 points you need to make to get that message? Not messages – just things you need to say / points you need to make to get it across. These become your slides. Remember .. a maximum of one slide every 2 minutes (and then cut it by 50%).
- What are your opening and closing statements? Write these down on a piece of paper and practice them. Once a subject matter expert gets going they are fine … they just need to kick it off and wrap it up well. Everyone remembers only what you first and last said.
- In terms of the jokes .. its not really about jokes its empathy. You are looking for people to say ’ this guy gets it ..’ Avoid jokes unless you are good at them. Question here is: how can you get them on your side to listen to your serious message?