Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bold idea: Could you be the summary speaker?

Frequent speaker Scott Berkun writes about being the last speaker of the day, following a long line of speakers. But he turned that slot to advantage with a bold idea:
I threw in a wrinkle the awesome organizers let me try: I built my talk during the day, based on the best and most dangerous ideas I heard other speakers and attendees say.
Of course, it takes a willing organizer to let this happen--but would you, as a speaker, suggest it? Here's why I think you should consider trying this:

  • It's automatically fresh: There's no way to have prepared this type of talk ahead of time, which makes it exciting for the audience (and perhaps you, too).
  • You really set the agenda by setting the takeaway: No matter how planned it was in advance, you get the last word--and the chance to shape what participants think about the day. Powerful stuff!
  • It'll keep you sharp: This approach means you need to listen, distill and keep it simple and short. If you're up for the challenge, it requires you to move fast, speak clearly and focus.
  • You stay out of the weeds: Let others dive deep into detail. By choosing the top-line summary, you're playing a very different role and sharing an overall vision.
  • It's bound to be brief: You're standing between the crowd and happy hour. Brevity is your friend here.

What do you think of this idea? Would you try it or suggest it--or have you done this type of talk already? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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1 comment:

Phil Gerbyshak said...

I frequently do this if I'm the end of the day speaker. It's a LOT of fun, and it makes for a great recap of the day, adding value to the organizer by driving home all the key points brought up throughout the day.

Makes everyone happy :)