Virtual keynotes simply aren’t the same as live

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Sterling Hawkins - Leadership Innovation

Virtual keynotes simply aren’t the same as live; while there are limitations, there’s also a lot more we can do with them. 

The Silicon Valley Innovation Center (SVIC) hosted a conference last week for tech executives looking for support during the current pandemic and brought me on for their closing keynote. They wanted a version of my TED talk about how discomfort is necessary for innovation adapted for leadership in crises. A perfect fit for the times we’re in right now since we’re all at least a little uncomfortable.

We recorded the keynote in advance to make sure delivery was 100% reliable and I was on live with a wired connection (yes, that’s still a thing) for Q&A thereafter. By recording it in advance, we were able to “produce” the content in a way that makes it more engaging, inspiring and connected (vs. just watching me on the screen with a slideshow running the whole time). This is a private link since we’re not making it available publicly, but you can check it out HERE to get a sense for what we can do. 

The pre-recorded virtual keynote with the live Q&A was really well received. Vlas Lezin, the COO of SVIC, said of the virtual performance: “Sterling is a remarkable professional who combines deep knowledge of innovation with stunning rhetorics. He is one of the most impressive speakers that I saw, weaving together the story, information and education in extremely impactful narration. No matter what your audience is, when it comes to handling the disruption and thriving with innovation — Sterling is a person to talk to. He will entertain, educate and motivate you to go and challenge the status quo, try new thing and reach new heights.”

I obviously can’t wait to get back to live keynotes; I’m sure you’re in a similar spot. And at the same time this virtual keynote capacity isn’t a substitution or something to “fill the gap” until we “get back to normal”. It’s a new and increasingly polished tool the give audiences the proven process and inspiration to create significant positive change in their businesses, even after the pandemic is over. 

Having done a few of these virtual events now, I’m happy to provide some best practices that I’ve seen (and what hasn’t worked) if you want to reach out. 

View Sterling’s pprofile HERE or check out his availability by clicking WeSpeak logo below.

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