One of the responsibilities I have as conference chair for Agile2017 is to select the three keynote speakers (Mon, Wed and Fri). Both Paul and Brian did a wonderful job in the last two conferences, which has added to the determination to continue the trend of stellar keynotes. Now I have my opinions of what makes a great keynote, some of the top aspects include:
- Engaging: Can the person hold a large audience without leveraging full blown workshop activities for 45-60 minutes? This means being able to move the audience up and down throughout the entire time utilizing imagery.
- Content: Personally, I consider two aspects: quality material and recency. I appreciate quality material but if I read the book 3 years ago and the keynote is simply a highlight outline, I’m happy but not thrilled. I want some new twist or angle for me to explore.
- Inspiring/Encouraging: Keynotes should challenge people. They should support people to experiment with something new or difficult. They should get people excited (maybe after the shock wears off) about what is potential.
- Ease of Delivery: I’m all about supporting first time speakers, but as a keynote…I want to see you deliver effortlessly. I don’t want you glued to your notes. I don’t want to notice you checking for time. I don’t want you motionless. I don’t want you looking like you are about to have a heart attack. I want your delivery to add to your message, not distract from it.
What am I missing? What would you also consider to be an aspect of a killer keynote?