What it takes to give a keynote


From time to time, people ask me about my presentation techniques. More often than not, they aren’t actually asking me about how I grow ideas for presentations, build decks, or rehearse. (No one, btw wants to hear about the rehearsals.) What these people are really asking is for is, “What do I need to do to keynote at a conference?” Instead of pointing them to the article I wrote a while ago, I need to show them this picture.

If you want to give 1 keynote, you have to be ready, willing, and able to give your talk to 100 of these rooms. It doesn’t matter that you are the last talk of the conference, in a makeshift space, that the speakers before you ran preposterously over their time limits, and the conference organizers didn’t actually manage the agenda. It doesn’t matter that you present to 4 people and you knew 2 of them. Nope, none of that matters. What matters is that despite all that you deliver to those 4 people with the same, if not more, energy you would use to deliver to a room of 2000. 

Show me you that you are prepared to put aside ego, ignore the hours you spent building the deck, and never mind what size audience you hoped for. Show that you are prepared to deliver that talk tired, calorie deprived, and over-caffeinated. Show that you are committed to make sure those 4 people walk away with something useful. 

Then and only then, are you ready to take on a keynote.

My 9 step process for building a presentation