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.

Clip to Evernote
Use the Evernote clip button, above, to save this post in an Evernote notebook or start an Evernote account. Go here to subscribe to Step Up Your Speaking, my free email newsletter that looks at a different speaking topic in depth each month...then become a fan of The Eloquent Woman on Facebook and join the conversation with thousands of other women (and men) about public speaking skills and confidence.