I love going to conferences. Just as well since, as a keynote speaker, I spend vast chunks of my life inside auditoriums, banquet rooms or windowless, airless conference centres.
I’ve seen countless Olympians, celebrities, TV personalities, and professional inspirational speakers over the last 17 years as I wait for my slot and it’s always thrilling to be in their vicinity.
But no matter how exceptional your external speakers, it’s the Leaders from the host organization– the CEO, the FD, the head of the major transformation project, the primary advocate for an upcoming change of strategic direction – that make or break these events. This is the opportunity for them to talk about what really matters to everyone in the room – their own jobs, their own business, their own future. And it’s an opportunity, frankly, that’s often missed.
I’ve been delighted and inspired many times by superb, funny, insightful and beautifully constructed Leader presentations. But I’ve also felt small parts of me die (you know what I’m talking about!) during the inevitably Powerpoint heavy, monotone, meandering sessions that not even the presenter is getting any pleasure from. You’re never getting that part of your life back.
You’ve worked so hard to make the event a success that it makes sense to support your internal speakers in their preparation too. And while it can be intimidating to suggest to the most important person in the business that they might like a bit of input on what they are going to say, most know that they have one chance to land this message and they really don’t want to miss it.