Conference ninja – how to START a keynote

17th September 2019

Speaking in front of hundreds of people is a privilege.

But you absolutely MUST deliver fantastic value.

And, for that to happen, it’s critical you start brilliantly. Give a great First Impression, and they’ll come on the journey with you. Don’t, and they won’t.

I’ve been speaking at conferences for years. And I’ve found these two techniques are the best way to create a great First Impression:

  1. Great bio
  2. Great intro

Your host will introduce you. So, prepare a bio for her to read out. She’ll welcome this (otherwise, she’d have to write it). Plus, you can guide what she says! I always put two things in my intros:

  1. Why the topic – “we aren’t hitting our sales numbers and need to improve fast”
  2. Why me – “So we’ve invited Andy Bounds to speak to us today, because XYZ”

And then, to ensure I start well, I practise my opening sentence out loud at least 30 times beforehand. That way, I always say the right words, in the most impactful way.

And I KNOW my start will go well. And when that does, the rest does too!

Action Point

Next conference speech, write your intro for your host, and practise your start out loud at least 30 times. Win them then, and you’ve got them!

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