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There are Speakers and then there are Keynoters. The latter holds a gravitas throughout the tech industry. How does a community contributor step up to the keynoting stage? What skills does every speaker need to get there?
Our guests, Emily Hendershot and Renee Woods, work at a company that coordinate events in our industry (including a regularly-scheduled virtualization-focused one). They collectively work with around 100 keynotes a year, so they have a ton of exposure to the best and worst advice you can get across industries.
Notes from their experience:
- Be visible so people can find you
- Have a strong message you’re willing to share publicly
- Sessions are for technical deep dives, keynotes are for inspiration
- Always, *always*, go beyond the vendor pitch
- Keynotes are there to anchor the conversation. It’s intended to have someone with a little bit of a celebrity level
Some great tips if you want to speak:
- First steps to keynoting could be volunteering to announce giveaways or emcee part of the event
- You’d be surprised how many people are looking for people like you. Help them by being visible
- Career development is a huge topic these days, so think about telling your own story at a show
- Groom some ideas of topics you would like to talk about and don’t be shy about sharing those
- Even if you’re speaking for your company, own your content and own your deck
- And never, ever, mic drop!
Unless you’re finishing a post.