8 WAYS TO PREPARE FOR A KEYNOTE SPEECH
1. Think about and write down who the talk is for, who is your demographic, who will be there to listen, what will be helpful for them to get out of this, what can you share that will help them learn something? Your talk is much more about serving your audience than serving yourself so make your intention clear.
2. Start by writing absolutely everything in your head down, don’t try to perfect anything just throw absolutely everything down on paper. That way you can cut down the less important things and refine key messages later. Then think about which parts best serve the audience that will be there.
3. Record yourself reading what you’ve written and listen back a few times to see how it sounds, what’s resonating, working well and what sucks... Cut all those average and shit bits out.
4. Now that you’ve recorded, listened and cut the shit, be sure to refine your key messages, learnings and takeaways. Again, go back to who your audience is, what messages, strong one-liners can you make sure to imprint on their minds? Consider something that is memorable or creates a moment of emotional impact for them. What message will they take home that relates to them personally?
5. Start to pull together slides that bring together your vision and all the things you’re saying. Make sure they’re bright, bold, imagery, video content and the least words the better. People need to focus on what you’re saying, not your busy slides, so make it simple. This is where less is more.
6. Practice, practice, practice. Rerecord yourself, listen to yourself everyday at least 3 weeks in advance of your talk and at least once a day. You’ll be surprised at how much you memorise with such an easy task of just listening. Practice out loud, walk around, get comfortable doing your talk off the cuff, no notes!
7. Cut your talk down, wherever possible keep your talk short. The shorter the better. If they give you 20 minutes make your talk 15 minutes. Make it strong and powerful. It’s not about taking up all the time and space, it’s about a strong, memorable message that captures attention.
8. Be sure to stick around after your talk to network, get feedback, chat to people, ask questions about them, get curious about their work, be open to new ideas and always learning.
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