Stepping up your Speaker Game

Keynotes can’t be the way they used to. The way a speaker approaches an event has changed but that leaves room for innovation! Check out this episode to see how keynotes have changed and what to expect moving forward featuring Rene Rodriguez.

Tell us about you.

Last time we talked a lot about what does it mean for our industry, during COVID. Everything is switching to virtual, and there is a massive shift in people embracing it or not. People that embrace it realize behavior changes. People are trying to do the same behavior on a live stage to now a virtual stage.

Tell me a little bit about that. I see a lot of common mistakes on the production side but tell us on the speaker side of things.

This is the tough part, you get a speaker who is used to 2000 people in the audience, you have to raise your level of energy but now you may have 3000 people on a webinar but they are individual people by themselves at their desk. You can’t scream and run around because it’s an awkward scenario. It was to be a conversation with a lot of animation but a different kind of animation, smiles and eyes.

How many of those speakers live off of the crowd energy and their ability to be entertaining but the content isn’t there… now this is made them step back and go my content needs to change.

It’s an equalizer, a big equalizer. I know so many people who have great content and knowledge and can add value but don’t have the stage presence. And I know people who have great stage presence but are shallow in their content.


When you’re working on putting together a virtual event and looking at speakers, how do you know if they are good virtual?

Do a virtual call with them. I have done 200 virtual events in 5 months, I wanted to understand, do as many as you can. Stop worrying about speaker fee right now. Once you get out ahead and can show you can do it well, then people will take out speakers to put you in. You have to be able to demonstrate you can speak. This is the secret: production quality burden used to be on the planner, now the production burden falls on this side of the camera. You get to save money, and I have to invest money in all the stuff. The speaker has to embrace that.


How do you pick the right speaker for what you’re trying to do?

Stop worrying about speakers. Think about what you’re trying to create, what’s the theme, what do you want people to feel, what do you want people to say? Then you start going through and finding who has that now.

How do you see speakers evolving as time goes on?

Live events will come back. People are going to want the community, engagement, and feel. But something will not go away.

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