What makes for an inspirational public speaker?
When you are looking to book a keynote speaker for your conference, the obvious choice are people with a memorable story tell. The first time I was invited to speak, I was the appetiser before Casper Craven took the main stage. Now, I've got some memorable leadership stories, from leading the Political Strategy for the Global Climate Movement, Extinction Rebellion to Forecasting the Future for the British Foreign Office, but Casper opened his talk with the story of how he and his young family sailed around the world. Their voyage was a vehicle to understand how to be resilient in the face of disruption. It was simple, entertaining and had audiences on the edge of their seats. But that's only one half of the equation. To be a great professional keynote speaker, you need to reveal the gold you have harvested from your heroes journey. How did you mature, what insights were revealed, what smaller parts of your had to be surrendered. This is deeper level of conversation we're always having withourselves, and a great conference speaker needs to be a mirror to the frontier of that conversation in each and every person. When I speak, I try to reveal the complexities of my inner world as I went through dramatic leadership tests. Where did I feel fear and doubt, what old wounds surfaced for healing, what deeper reservoir of courage did I find? What is most personal is most universal, and so to be a top COVID speaker, an inspirational speaker, and motivational speaker, whatever people are looking for, you need to reveal yourself. Not just the heroic parts, where the ego gets a pat on the back, but the embarrassing, shameful and regretful parts that are always in the shadows, waiting for recognition. Offering yourself in this way, is the true gift you can give to your audience.
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