PRESENT TO SUCCEED LESSONS LEARNED

Lessons from Real-Life Executive Keynote Speakers by Scott Karman

PRESENT TO SUCCEED LESSONS LEARNED

Lessons from Real-Life Executive Keynote Speakers by Scott Karman

In our Present to Succeed Lessons Learned series, we include all the fascinating, valuable, and wow moments from the sessions of our debut 2021 conference. We aim to share with you the best takeaways and help you improve your presentation craft every single day.

In this article, you will read more about Scott Karman’s session on the lessons you can learn from his experience with real-life keynote speakers. What, after all, can compare to firsthand experience? And Scott can let you see what is going on backstage.

Scott Karman is the Principal and Owner of Silver Fox Productions, Inc., which is one of the biggest presentation agencies out there. Scott and his team are often in charge of high-stakes technology keynotes that are for companies so big that they are not even allowed to mention them because of confidentiality agreements.

In his session, Scott offered previously unseen stories of chosen keynote performances and the lessons that others have learned the hard way. You’ll be astonished at how many personal challenges and conflicts most of the eloquent speakers go through to deliver their speeches and presentations with the authenticity, confidence, and charisma, that they do it with.

What happens backstage stays there

When we see a speaker presenting, we only see a part of his story, the culmination of serious preparation. And a lot of times the issues and the doubts of the speaker are hidden from us. Here’s one example. Scott told us the story of one of the first speakers he ever trained. A seasoned professional that was very worried speaking about a new topic. He was very stressed, he was doubting himself, but once on the stage, he gave a fantastic speech. The audience even gave him a standing ovation at the end.

So, here’s the thing. Great speakers are not exempt from feeling anxious or insecure, but they always go the extra mile in their preparation. Below’s another story Scott shared with us.

He was training a guy in a leadership position. This person had skipped the practice partly due to his lack of time and faith in his performance skills. And then at the last minute before the presentation, there was an emergency that prompted a rearrangement of the presentation content. So, this person, being not perfectly comfortable with the content, was having a really hard time when on stage. He had skipped practicing the old content he had, so the new rearranged content was even harder. It was a close call to failure. The lesson is clear – even the best speakers should never skip practice.

“Great speakers are always prepared because they are always preparing.”


- Scott Karman, in his Present to Succeed 2021 Conference session.

Scott shared a few other keynote performance stories to illustrate his points, which we recommend you see and hear for yourself. You can get your access to his session recording from here.

The four Ps of presentations and the types of presenters

According to Scott, there are four core areas of focus in presentations: planning, presentation, practice, and performance.

A slide from the presentation of Scott Karman, CEO of Silver Fox Productions

Scott showed a wheel with four focal regions to place your skills, so you can assess yourself. If your wheel is unbalanced, don’t worry; you’re not alone, as most people have an unbalanced wheel.

These four focus areas can be applied every time you speak, whether at a live event, a small meeting, or even a one-on-one conversation.

Afterward, our conference audience learned from Scott the primary types of presenters based on the focus areas – the boss, the sophomore, and the rookie. These three types of speakers can help you see where you are placed and to understand others more and where they need to improve.

A slide from the presentation of Scott Karman, CEO of Silver Fox Productions

Here he showed what the most common types of speakers are that he has personally seen. Which one does your assessment look closest to?

Looking at your chart, if you are closest to the boss, it means that you have excellent presentation content and the ability to perform, but that your shortcoming is no time for planning or practice. If you are like the sophomore, you are exceptional at collaborating and planning, but when practicing, you might be resisting the feedback you are receiving.

Here, Scott answered a question from our audience about how great speakers prepare, actually.

Let's summarize

Practice makes perfect. The cliché is true. So never overlook rehearsals. Then, the four areas of focus that Scott introduced in his session will help you to easily see where you need to improve if you are truly honest about your skills because to become a better speaker, you need to balance out the four focus areas that you now know.

Scott Karman’s session is one we recommend seeing to everyone that wants to become a better public speaker. It is part of our Story track recordings that you can get for only €39. And for €79, you can have all 30+ sessions from Present to Succeed 2021.

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Join Present to Succeed - the biggest presentation skills conference in the world

Whether you are part of an organization or running a business, how your slides look will always factor in your success. Learn how to become an influential speaker by joining our 30+ industry-leading speakers’ sessions.

Start engaging your audience better and influencing them to embrace your concepts, hire you, or buy your products. Now is the best moment to get your ticket!

Join Present to Succeed - the biggest presentation skills conference in the world

Whether you are part of an organization or running a business, how your slides look will always factor in your success. Learn how to become an influential speaker by joining our 30+ industry-leading speakers’ sessions.

Start engaging your audience better and influencing them to embrace your concepts, hire you, or buy your products. Now is the best moment to get your ticket!