Insights June 27th, 2020
Ever wondered what the pro-tips for world-class virtual futurist keynotes are from a leading futurist speaker? Well, I like to cut through the hype to the most important things to remember for event producers and speakers when preparing and delivering your virtual futurist keynote.
1. It’s all about content, not an over technical set up
There are a lot of speakers running out to buy green screens and use ‘weather casting’ backdrops to Zoom. While these seem like fun, they really act as distractions and look a little hokey. You need a solid laptop, a great microphone and a hi-resolution webcam.
And, you need to do the research that is needed for the keynote. Rewrite your canned talk. In fact, cancel the idea of ever doing canned talks – they really suck!
Go further and push ideas. Be provocative. You can lose the audience at any point. Increase the amount of questions you ask, and encourage people to share their questions and perspectives throughout the talk.
Pro tip: Find a venue where you can present from. Your kitchen or basement just don’t cut it. People pay for your professional opinion so dress like you’re hitting the stage and present from an event space. There are many co-working spaces and offices with great facilities. They’ll likely be happy to work with you. In Toronto I use Startwell’s incredible space.
2. Images are greater than video or text
You will be sharing a screen with your content. That means you’ll float about the images for many people (pro tip: get people to switch to a side-by-side view at the beginning for the best experience). What you show has to be impactful and inspiring. If you have a stat, make it short and avoid too much text. Quotes are great, but make them short as well.
Pro tip: Videos are awesome but many platforms don’t stream audio and the frame rate can be a challenge for streaming and lead to the experience feeling low quality. Find replacement imagery for what you want to say. If video is important to you then record the talk in 1080dpi or 4K and edit in the videos. That works very well.
3. Less talk, more Q&A
You have an hour? That’s 30 minutes of you talking and 30 minutes for an interactive Q&A. You have an hour and a half? That’s 30 to 40 minutes (maximum) of you talking and 50 to 60 minutes for an interactive Q&A.
Pro-tip: when you have a longer session then add in a 10 minute workshop element and have people share what they have produced.
4. Work with great production teams
You cannot just jump on a web conference platform and make things run smoothly. You need a team to ensure everything is running fine and have backup solutions if anything goes wrong. Test out the set up one week and then 2 days out. Then dial in at least 60 minutes before the session. Run through everything.
Pro tip: dial in to the telephone line as a backup and ensure you can tether to your phone quickly if the Internet goes down on your end. It happens. be ready.
5. Practice! Practice! Practice!
I cannot impress on you the important of practice. Online conferences are a quirky and strange experiences. Go to your event space and set it up as you would have it on the day. Run through your talk using the online platform you plan to use. Have someone critique and help you improve it.
Pro-tip: Simplify everything. Have fewer slides, less text, impactful images (remember to clear copyright) and more impactful messaging. Remember to BREATHE and SLOW DOWN.
It takes a lot of work and practice to deliver world-class virtual futurist keynotes. Green screens don’t cut it. Go the extra mile. Contact me if you want to discuss.