Tomorrow, I’m speaking for a Hilton brand of hotels. This is their big meeting that happens only once every 2 years, so 1500 in attendance. Last time they had Malcolm Gladwell so they go big on their speaker choice and expect the best.
I’ve been speaking professionally for world class organizations twenty one years now. I’m being well for this 60 minute talk. Here’s a little on how I prep for my keynote:
1. Get the client on the phone and interview them. Learn EVERYTHING they’ll tell me about their internal initiatives, their business, their challenges and their event objectives. Everything I can about their attendees. You’ve got to know your client!
2. Get permission to call some of their attendees in advance and interview them. I call about 4. You’ve got to know your audience!
3. Choose a single talking theme that is a great fit for the client and the audience, that falls under my expertise and passion. You have to have a singular theme you want to drive home!
4. Start noodling on the topic a month in advance. This is a slow cooking creative process. You have to give your subconcious mind plenty of time to get creative!
5. Gather my best personal stories for this particular talk. Personal stories trump platitudes and book-knowledge. You have to have great personal stories for your theme!
6. Decide my 3 major action suggestions. So what strategies am I going to direct them towards? You have to offer value not just inspiration. You have to tell them what they can do better starting today or when they get back to their workplace.
7. Decide how I’m going to illuminate the problem. You have to get them thinking and feeling the problem early on in your talk, or your audience won’t care about your solution, no matter how brilliant.
8. Decide how I’m going to open in a way that quickly creates likability, openness, attention and trust. Your open is everything. You’ve got 60 seconds at most to get your audience to trust you, or you’ll be fighting an uphill battle from there on out.
9. Decide how I’m going to close so that I leave the audience on a high note with a noble challenge. It’s all for naught, the whole talk, if you blow the close.
10. Decide how I’m going to make the talk fun and interactive. Where am I going to insert activities, interactions, props or humor. This is not icing on the cake, this is mastery that ensures rapt attention throughout.
Hopes this helps you rock your next talk!
Hit me up if you have an important talk coming up or if you are seeking to become a much better speaker. I speech coach by application.