Keynote Ideas

I was extremely honored to be asked to keynote Agile Midwest in October.  First and somewhat unrelated to this post…but deserves to be called out: Their approach for the week is pretty ideal.

During Agile Week in St. Louis you can custom tailor your learning experience including:

 – Up to 3 days of certification courses (M-T-W) from a variety of leading vendors in the Agile community

– A 1 day open space (W) where you can attend and share your knowledge with fellow agilists (and agilistas)

– A 1 day tracked agile conference (Thur) with leading experts from around the country

If I was still in the conference organization game, I would be seriously considering something similar to this.

Ok. Now on to the topic at hand. I’ve written about keynotes before but this is about being inspired to step up my keynote game.  At Agile2017, the three keynotes knocked it out of the park:  honesty, humility, humor all mixed with key insight and knowledge to share.  I have embraced my storytelling abilities but I realized that I could improve my delivery with a few more key elements that I observed.

  1. Imagery.  I have one or two images in my keynote to emphasis a point but I limit to that because the thought of searching to find the right image for the connection I want to make is overwhelming.  However, that’s just lazy.  There are tons of imagery that would resonate for getting out of your comfort zone…I need to make the effort to seamlessly incorporate.
  2. Exercises.  I do not believe that a keynote speaker can’t have hundreds, even thousands of people do something during the session.  For example, Denise Jacobs had everyone write down a fear on a piece of paper and than speed pass across over almost 2000 people.  I loved the energy and the result of seeing someone else’s (no idea who) fear – and often realizing you are not alone.  I loved it so much that I want to incorporate a variation of this in my sessions.
  3. Vulnerability. I don’t struggle with putting myself out there.  Yet, I’m finding that because I’m comfortable with the uncomfortable, people are surprised to learn that I have internal struggles…which is ironic since most of my early sessions were all about things I found challenging.  This made me realize that lately I’ve not done these sessions as much – time to return.

All of this inspired and motivated me to really prepare for this upcoming keynote. I know I would have worked hard before but I tried to improve my game and honestly (but humbly), I’m thrilled with the result.  I can’t wait until the 12th comes along!!!

What keynotes did you enjoy?

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