Happy Thanksgiving — Take The Week Off!

by drjim on November 25, 2014

Image Credit Here's Hoping That This Week Is Special For Everyone

Here's Hoping That This Week Is Special For Everyone

Loyal readers & subscribers, here’s hoping that this upcoming week is a great week for you — I’m taking it off! Blogging will resume next week…

For my readers in the U.S., you know that this week is all about family, turkey, and of course football. I’m not sure what it is about turkey that always seems to make everyone fall asleep, but I’m hoping that when I wake up this year the global recession will be but a distant memory, gas will be under $3.00 / gallon, and just maybe the world will have settled down for awhile.

For my international readers, pretty much all of the United States will be taking time off this week to celebrate the arrival of Europeans into the New World. For better or for worse, it’s what has gotten us to where we are today and we think that that’s a good thing.

Have a happy and safe week no matter where you are and we’ll talk next week.

– Dr. Jim Anderson

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Building A Keynote Speech From The Ground Up

by drjim on November 18, 2014

Good keynote speeches are built from the ground up

Good keynote speeches are built from the ground up
Image Credit

I’m not really sure if it is the most difficult type of speech to give, but the keynote speech is where we seem to be in the spotlight for the longest time and provides us with our best opportunity to show off the importance of public speaking. Our audience has high expectations for what we’ll be sharing with them and we really don’t want to let them down. This is a high pressure situation that can cause some public speakers to crack. I was recently asked to deliver a keynote speech and only had a week to get ready to give it. Could I get the speech written in that time?

Where To Start?

When I sat down to create my keynote speech, I started where everyone starts: staring at a blank sheet of paper. I had agreed to give a speech on some changes that were occurring as the IT industry moves into the cloud. In my case, I wanted to create a title that would help me to guide the creation of the rest of my speech. I struggled with this for a while, but eventually I decided to call the speech “How To Change The World In 1,823 Days…”

My next step was to try to decide what the purpose of my speech was going to be. I had an hour to present to my audience and I wanted to make sure that their time was well spent. The conference that they were attending was all about the changes that were occurring in the field of IT. This naturally led me to plan on creating a speech about those changes and how it would affect the members of my audience personally.

Finally, I needed to come up with a structure for how I was going to give my speech. I decided to use the “tell a story, make a point, tell a story, make a point” style. I really like this technique because it allows me to tell a speech that my audience will remember and it allows me to clearly communicate my message to my audience.

How To Structure A Keynote Speech

Having gotten a lot of the preliminary work out of the way, I now got ready to tackle the tough stuff: how to structure my speech. I decided that I wanted to break up my speech into four main parts.

The first part would deal with me trying to answer the question “Why”. In my case I was trying to convince my audience that the way that things currently are was broken and I needed to explain to how we had gotten to where we currently were.

My next step what to share with my audience what a solution to the current problem looked like. The thinking here is that if you don’t know what you are looking for, then you’ll never be able to find a way to get from here to there.

The next step was to deal with the “how” of the problem. This is where I would lay out the steps that I felt that my audience was going to have to take in order to move from where they currently were to where they wanted to get to.

I would then wrap things up by trying to answer the “what if” question. This dealt with having me paint a picture of what the future could look like if the audience took action on my ideas and took the steps that I was recommending. What would their future look like then?

The Best Way To Wrap-Up A Keynote Speech

With a little luck, at this point in time I would have delivered a very good keynote speech. Now all I had to do in order to make this be a successful speech would be to find a way to wrap it up in a memorable way.

I decided that what I needed to do in my conclusion was to start things out by making sure that I had my audience on my side. In order to do this, I decided to tell everyone that nobody likes change. I would then list several reasons why we don’t like change. I figured that right about this time I would have everyone nodding in agreement with me.

My plan was to then jump from that into a statement where I would prove that the old way of doing things was broken. If I could get them to agree with that statement also, then I was just about home free. I would wrap my conclusion up by restating my grand and glorious vision of the future and I would urge my audience to make the changes that I had proposed so that we could all move into my vision of the future together.

What All Of This Means For You

When you are asked to create and deliver a keynote presentation, understand that you are signing up for a lot of work. These things are not easy to put together and if you really want to make an impact on your audience then you are going to have to get creative in order to share the benefits of public speaking with your audience.

Recently when I was asked to give a keynote speech I had to sit down and create one from scratch. I started out by selecting a title, then I answered four questions that I thought that my audience would be asking. I used the “tell a story, make a point” technique and I wrapped things up by making sure that my audience was on my side.

When I delivered my keynote speech, it was well received. I was dealing with a very technical audience and I was presenting a technical topic to them. I believe that I was able to communicate my ideas to them and they understood what I was saying. After my speech was over, a number of people came up to me and asked me questions that indicated that they had understood what I had been telling them. This was a successful keynote!

- Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that you should start with the conclusion when you are writing your keynote speech?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Time is a funny thing. Before we start to deliver a speech, it can seem as though we have all of the time in the world – how ever are we going to fill up the time that we’ve been given to deliver our speech in? However, once we take the stage or step into the front of the room, time seems to speed up and there never seems to be enough of it. In order to maximize the importance of public speaking, how can we become better at managing this time thing?

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Webinar Secrets You Won’t Learn Anywhere Else

November 11, 2014

Webinars have opened a new door for public speakers. It used to be that in order to reach a group of people with our message and share with them the importance of public speaking, we had to get in our cars and drive (and perhaps fly) to where the audience was. Once there, there was […]

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How I Wrote A Killer Keynote Speech

November 4, 2014

I’m not sure about you, but one of the things that I most look forward to and dread at the same time is being asked to give a keynote speech. Giving a keynote speech allows you to show off the importance of public speaking. I love the attention and the ability to stand in the […]

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Don’t Screw Up Your Next Webinar: 3 Mistakes To Avoid

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3 Ways To Become A Strong Speaker

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I’m sure that we’d all like to be a strong, confident speaker. The big question that we all face is just exactly how can we go about getting from where we are today to becoming the strong speaker that we’d all like to become? Nope, there’s no magic pill that will make this happen; however, […]

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How Public Speakers Can Master Virtual Presentations

October 14, 2014

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New Book: Plan For Success: How To Plan Your Next Speech

October 11, 2014

    What You’ll Find Inside: HOW TO RIG A SPEECH TO GET THE OUTCOME YOU WANT EVERY TIME PUBLIC SPEAKERS WANT TO KNOW: ARE HANDOUTS YOUR FRIEND OR FOE? WAYS TO PLAN AN EFFECTIVE SPEECH SPEAKER: YOU ARE WHAT YOU WEAR Click here for epub, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt, or html formats

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Speakers Need To Understand That How You Say It Is As Important As What You Say

October 7, 2014

The time that you’ve been allocated in which to deliver your next speech is limited despite the fact that we all know about the importance of public speaking. What this means for you is that you are going to have to make each word that you say count – you don’t have time to waste […]

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New Book: Secrets To Planning The Perfect Speech

October 4, 2014

If you want to give a perfect speech, then you need to know how to plan it. Get the book that tells you how to do this: Click here for Paperback, Kindle, or Audiobook Download. Click here for epub, mobi, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt or html.

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