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Ten Reasons to Hire an Innovation Keynote Speaker

Innovation Keynote Speaker Braden Kelley

Innovation Keynote Speakers are often misunderstood, maligned, and underutilized.

We have all been to many conferences, and heard many good (and bad) keynote and session speakers with a variety of styles (all of which are perfectly acceptable), including:

1. The Motivator

Say this public speaking style and most people will envision Bill Clinton, Tony Robbins, Steve Ballmer or someone like that. Notice that not all three examples are people you think of as full of boundless energy, that can be incredibly motivating. The motivator tries to connect on an emotional level with the audience and dial up the inspiration.

2. The Academic

This speaking style is nearly, but not completely synonymous with college professors and others in the “teaching” business. My personal style straddles between The Academic and The Storyteller. The Academic focuses on bringing compelling content and connecting with the intellect of the audience, bringing them tools and concepts that done well, are easy to grasp and use.

3. The Storyteller

The Storyteller makes a strong use of similes, metaphors, and stories to get their points across. Bill Clinton straddles the line between The Motivator and The Storyteller. Storytellers try to connect on an emotional level and along with The Academic, tend to dive deeper into their points than The Motivator or The Standup comedian. Personally I love good stories and funny pictures and so my personal T-shaped speaking style embraces bits of The Storyteller and The Standup Comedian as well.

4. The Standup Comedian

The Standup Comedian aims to keep the audience laughing, using humor to underscore and to make their points. Other than comedy writers or standup comedians, few speakers will rely on this as their primary style, but many will drift into this style from time to time.

As you might expect, all of these styles are perfectly valid as long as the content is solid and valuable, but the energy of The Motivator entices a lot of people and as you can imagine, this group does the most to both help and hurt people’s perceived value of keynote speakers. Sometimes The Motivator inspires people to action, and other times they are the equivalent of cotton candy, firing people up with weak content that they can’t do anything with.

So, if with public speaking, like other communication vehicles, content is king and all speaking styles are valid, then you need to find the right content, the right speaker, and have the right reasons for employing one.

With that in mind, let’s look at the…

Top 10 Reasons to Hire an Innovation Keynote Speaker

  1. To begin an honest dialog around the role of innovation in your organization’s future
  2. To help build/reinforce your common language of innovation
  3. To bring in fresh ideas to inspire fresh insights
  4. To bring additional perspectives to existing innovation conversations
  5. To lay the groundwork for building an innovation infrastructure
  6. To help reduce the fear of innovation in your organization
  7. To reinforce your commitment to innovation publicly to your employees
  8. To increase the energy for innovation in your company
  9. To inject fresh life into an existing innovation program
  10. To combine with an innovation workshop to build new innovation capabilities

Click the image to download as a PDF:

Ten Reasons to Hire an Innovation Speaker

This is of course, not a comprehensive list of the reasons that companies around the world find value in periodically bringing in an innovation keynote speaker to dialog with their employees. Some companies choose to achieve some of these objectives via the innovation keynote, and others by sponsoring innovation training programs, or by retaining an innovation thought leader in an advisory capacity to provide the same kind of external perspectives, input, insights, and diversity of thought.

So, whether you are a new innovation leader seeking guidance on how to get off on the right foot, or an experienced Chief Innovation Officer, VP of Innovation, or Innovation Director, I encourage you to consider having myself or another innovation keynote speaker or workshop leader as a guest from time to time. I know you’ll find value in it!

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Drowning in a Sea of Content

Drowning in Content

In #MyIndustry, content creation (I’m an author, keynote speaker and publisher), there is already a flood of content and the flood waters will not recede anytime soon. In fact, the rate of content creation is increasing as more companies launch content marketing and inbound marketing campaigns to pull customers to them.

Before the Internet came along, content was naturally limited by the potential throughput possible through a relatively fixed number of available channels:

  • Handful of TV stations
  • Radio stations
  • 1 or 2 local newspapers
  • A few dozen magazines
  • A handful of book publishers

Things remained relatively stable for several decades, then beginning in about 1980 this began to change. Cable and satellite television began to arrive taking television from a handful of stations to hundreds. The number of magazines began to grow, doubling between 1980-2000 according to Pew Research, online services and eventually the Internet emerged to provide a plethora of alternatives to traditional newspapers, and satellite and internet radio arrived. At the same time Amazon, Lulu and others launched the self-publishing revolution.

The amount of content available to people has exploded over the last 35 years. I saw a statistic recently that more than 1 TRILLION photos will be taken in 2015, compared to 2.7 Trillion photos cumulatively stored through the end of 2014.

With the rate of the content deluge increasing and with none of it draining out the bottom of the Internet bathtub, it will become harder and harder for a content creator like myself to capture people’s attention and to afford to continue to deliver quality insights from research, collaboration, and connection.

Being a content creator is a lot like being a space object, there are lots of asteroids in space, and it is easy to float around as an asteroid, but to carefully tend and cultivate an ecosystem that helps you attract enough mass and an atmosphere capable of generating and growing life is much harder.

Creating unique and differentiated insights to power content that educates, informs, or entertains (or potentially all three) is hard enough, but if you want to create something with its own source of gravity, you need to collect and harness many more skills, while also looking for potential collaborators with complimentary skills.

This will always be true for artists, musicians, authors, and any other kind of content creator. There is no going back?

So, what’s your center of gravity?

And how can you make it stronger?

In my own content creation sphere, I continue to work to strengthen the center of gravity in the innovation arena by working on a site redesign with my great Innovation Excellence co-Founders and the digital professionals at Juice Interactive, and growing a new center of gravity in the change arena with some new partners as we seek contributing authors for an upcoming launch of Charting-Change.com.

Helping to make innovation and change insights accessible for the greater good is what drives me, and I’ll keep doing it as long as I possibly can!

Image credit: Bunchcast

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