Skip to content

Lessons Learned Writing a Keynote

Cal Evans presenting at phptek 2016Dear Reader,

Recently it was my privilege to deliver the closing keynote at php[tek]. I wrote a new talk “Uncle Cal’s Career Advice to Developers”. This post isn’t about the keynote itself, but about the process of writing it and what I learned.

Telling a story is easy, telling a relevant story is hard

In “Career Advice” I tell 2 stories. To get those two stories I discarded 6-8 other stories. Some stories from my career, other stories I came across during my research. When giving a keynote it is very important that you not only tell a good story to keep the audience interested but that you tell a relevant story so that they understand where you are going.

By the way, as much as I think I chose the right stories, Samantha Quiñones story of the two researchers at Stanford and UCLA who in effect created the Internet was much better. She brought it back home at the end as well. Her’s was a story well told.

Learn more about public speaking.

Get all my writings on public speaking delivered to your inbox on a regular basis. Subscribe today!

* indicates required

Until next time,
I <3 |<


Photo Credit: Untitled by Ben Ramsey
Used under Creative Commons license.

10 thoughts on “Lessons Learned Writing a Keynote

  1. Completely agree with you on the practice. I do a lot of speaking and I always practice it a couple of times. If I have to give a 50 minute talk, I’ll be done at 45 minutes with 5 minutes for questions. All those people who ramble and then try to rush to the point or who finish 20 minutes early – those are the people who say “I speak better off the cuff.” Ha!

Comments are closed.