Which is the best day to bring in a keynote speaker? Should you schedule them to kick-off and elevate everything that follows?
It can be effective to allow some of the speaker’s catch praises to become a part of the rest of the meeting. Did George Costanza from Seinfeld have it right when he said, “end on a high note?”
Letting the speaker come in and bat clean up can be very powerful. The other bit of timing that is a worthwhile consideration is your company or association’s timeline. But where are you on the curve? You can be on an upswing and riding the waves, or the tides settle down leaving you to navigate a new course. And if you’re caught in a swell, it may soon turn into another mighty change! Matching the speaker’s message and style of delivery can be crucial.
Is it time for a content-laden speaker who can share savvy insights into the marketplace? Do you want that guy who can deliver a swift kick in the attitude?
Maybe the timing is just right for someone who can take the lid off all the stress and put a little humor back into everyone’s day. Will you have them wake everyone up right after coffee and orange juice?
Are your attendees too relaxed after lunch to properly take in the details of an expert? Would it be better to have that sports star speak at night and transform the awards dinner into a superstar sports banquet?
How do you get the word out? Should the name be leaked internally? What about using a clever video to make the rounds? On the other hand, this may be kept under wraps and revealed as a big surprise. Think about it. Try to imagine how the audience will react to your choices. Timing is everything and the choice is yours.
More About Our Steve Ruskin
When I am not booking the best speakers in the world and making the best match possible for each and every event, I do a lot of theater work. Due to my background in martial arts, I’ve done fight choreography on many stage plays over the years.
Just recently, I was called into work on the musical, The Fantasticks. I was charged with designing a sword fight featuring one hero battling three villains. The catch was that my movements had to fit the musical score perfectly.
The director would ask me to cut a beat here and there, or to work the rhythms I was creating to fit a particular time signature. It was a tremendously rewarding experience to see the lengthy sword battle fit the demands of the music. There was excitement, humor and gracefulness to be seen in all the actors’ choreography. Working on this show made me think about how much timing plays a part in how speakers are fit into a meeting.
Again, timing is everything!
If you are in New Jersey come on out and spend an evening with a romantic fantasy at The Chatham Playhouse. Please be sure to pay attention to the big sword fight in the first act, and the very graceful moves of an unarmed man defending himself against a fencing attack in the second act.
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