One of the hardest things to do when preparing for a keynote is not the content or demos in the keynote, by far, the hardest thing to coordinate is people. You can have the best demos, best slides and best announcements that’ll rock thousands of attendees and more viewing these keynotes online, nothing will matter if your speakers and crew are not prepared.
Came across this really good article about preparing for keynotes and it homes in on people preparation. Practice is the mantra that all speakers should be thriving on. It might seem silly doing it to yourself in the mirror or infront of 2 people in an empty stage, but it is necessary. In Practice I mean FULL DRESS REHEARSAL. (not putting on suits etc) but full demo run-throughs.
James Pratt, our ex-content owner, has always stressed to me that you MUST force everyone to do a full run-through and do not allow speakers to pull off the “this is where I..” move. That means all speakers should actually walk through their demo, if they say, “this is where I do this and do that”, then do it!! Don’t just talk.
We’ve organized MEDC’s keynote prep schedule 3 months out and here’s our schedule (simplified of course).
March 10: Draft Demo Outline
March 24: Keynote Theme Outline Draft
Logistics Keynote Stage
March 30: Demo Working Meeting 1
March 31: Demo Review 1
Overall Show Plan Exec / PR / PM Plan Review & Approval
April 06: Demo Working Meeting 2
April 13: Demo Working Meeting 3
April 14: Demo Review w/ execs
April 20: Demo Working Meeting 4
April 21: Keynote Deck Flow Review 1
April 25: Demo Working Meeting 5
April 27: Demo Working Meeting 6
April 28: Demos Demo Review FINAL w/ execs
May 01 – 05: Keynote Practice
May 05: Keynote Deck Review FINAL
May 09: Keynote Day – Las Vegas
* Demo Working Meetings are used to do a full run-through of any working part of demos.
Remember, Murphy is always in town, make him happy by giving him first look at what you’re doing. Get Murphy involved in your prep cycle so that he won’t come visit you during the live session. 🙂