Telling stories is central to what we do as keynote speakers. It draws us to our audience and makes what we teach and deliver within our keynote presentations memorable.
With the rise of virtual presentations, that crucial emotional connection has become harder to sustain and even more important. While at the same time, the future of virtual innovations such as augmented reality and virtual reality are all about reinventing how we convey virtual emotion. But sadly when most speakers, event teams and brands talk about virtual events or online keynote presentations that have a bad taste in their mouth thanks to webinars, “almost live” product demo’s and the random live streams of their neighbors cat that they’ve seen in their Facebook Live feed.
Way back in 2018, the National Speakers Association asked me to deliver a 10-minute keynote and 60-minute hands-on workshop at their Winter Conference to teach and inspire fellow speakers on how the next wave of technology will allow an audience to step into our shoes and interact, virtually, with the powerful emotions of a narrative. I give NSA credit as this was not only an innovative way of thinking within the rise of offline events but it was also helping to provide additional revenue streams for speakers.
But for most speakers, when they thought about virtual experiences or the impact of online technology, they either associated it with innovations around augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence or linked it to the 30-minute webinars they’ve provided over the years. In my session at NSA Winter Conference which you can watch below, I worked hard at opening my fellow keynote speakers’ minds to having a new perspective on what virtual and online provided both on-stage and online. Here are a couple of the most tweeted quotes from that talk:
“Telling stories draws us to our audience and makes what we teach memorable, the problem is that because of the rise of virtual presentations, it’s getting harder to sustain an emotional connection with our audience.”
“Relatability is the secret of online success, and live video is the gateway drug demonstrating participatory real-time interaction that will force us to rethink the power of virtual experiences!
“Virtual events, webinars and online summits don’t contain the same limitations as offline events which as speakers means our virtual event experiences have endless possibilities and the only real limitation is our imagination and willingness to think differently on what we deliver, how we provide and the technology we leverage to present our messages!”
Forced Covid19 Pivot to Virtual
Fast forward to 2020, and the transformation Covid19 has forced postponing worldwide conferences and forcing not only conference but speakers to deliver virtual keynote presentations.
Although the keynote below and the workshop were received very favorably by the NSA audience, I felt many linked my passion for virtual experiences and my desire to disrupt the virtual event space to the fact I was a millennial and had built my speaking business on the back of content marketing, social media and live streaming video.
“As speakers simply taking what we do great on stage at offline conferences and providing that online won’t cut it and will force you to lower speaking fees for #virtualevents and ultimately do more harm than good to your speaking brand!
Focus on shifting perspective and understanding the emotion your body & visuals are evoking!”
As the conference event industry and the professional speaker world point their attention, budgets, and brands towards developing and delivering virtual experiences the directions they can go are endless. I’ve made it my mission to do everything I can to disrupt and reinvent with those I coach, advise, and partner. Not only on the importance of reinventing what the virtual stage is but also the need to educate speakers, event professionals, and virtual event attendees on what is possible, what is expected, and the future we can ultimately create together!
Give this video a watch and join me in shifting the perspective of virtual experiences and removing the limitations we have placed on virtual events. As I believe the only limitations that exist in the virtual world are within our own imagination.
For additional resources and to view the soon to be launched Virtual Experience marketplace click here.