Whether you want to write your own keynote speech or write one for someone else, Guy Bergstrom reports with three tips:
"With a short speech, splitting it into three parts is simple and smart. It's natural for people -- audiences and speakers -- [to] remember things in threes. A keynote is different. There's a huge chasm between a [3-minute] speech and a [30-minute] speech, between 300 words and 3,000 words...A keynote speech can take a week, or two weeks, to draft and edit and finalize. Organization and outlining can save you endless hours of rewrites...What do you want the audience to do? In a perfect world, what would every person be inspired to get up and do after listening to the speech? Everything in your speech should build up to that call to arms...Split it up into three parts -- and split those parts into three...Now you've got nine total sections of roughly three minutes apiece, and you can work on them independently until they're polished. This isn't an iron-clad rule. It's a technique. It's a good way to make sure each part of your speech is balanced...
Any sort of repetition must have a purpose. Too much of a good thing turns bad. A solid keynote speech has variety: stories about real people, examples from history, metaphors, interesting numbers, new ideas. A great speech doesn't simply string those things together. It weaves them like a tapestry and takes the audience on a roller coaster...You have to give the audience hope that they can make a difference. Explicitly saying 'You can do something' is too direct; in Hollywood, they'd say that dialogue is 'on the nose.' Tell real stories about average people -- not billionaires or geniuses -- who made a difference. Local people, if you can. There's probably somebody in the audience who's affected by this issue or has worked as a volunteer or advocate. That person's story is rhetorical gold. Don't start with it. End with it."
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