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Leveraging Thought Leadership

Aug 14, 2022

How does a public speaker deliver a message without a stage?
Speaking events screeched to a halt when the pandemic put an indefinite stop to in person events. To find out how speakers moved forward, we’ve invited Mitch Joel , the Co-Founder of ThinkersOne to chat with us about the future of the speaking industry. Mitch is a visionary, digital expert, community leader, and author of Six Pixels of Separation.

Mitch shares how a speaker must split their attention when doing a virtual event, and how they must control music, slides, and other technological aspects as opposed to having a crew to handle those needs. That can put a distance between speaker and audience, making presentations feel slapdash or hesitant. It's hard to do all that, and still be "in the moment" with the content and audience.

While the pandemic has had many effects on our global culture, Mitch adds another term to the discussion: The Great Compression, which happened among many trade associations and even organizations. He explains that an amplification happened where many began to realize the need to be more diverse becoming a content provider and not just a conference. Second, everyone learned to become more digital. Mitch explains how this was not a revelation — we already had the technology in place, we just hadn't been forced to adapt to use it.

Another consequence of the pandemic was forced innovation. That pushed many to discover new business models in order to stay relevant, and connect with their clients. Now that the world is slowly returning to normal, many are forgoing those new ventures. We discuss finding the will to scale business to include both the old ways that worked for years, and the new methods that were developed for the pandemic and continue to be relevant today.

Finally, we discuss the hard task of developing community and relationship online. While in-person conferences have started to return they are not back to normal and might never be. Mitch shares his thoughts on the fundamental need to gather in person and how that need is forcing speakers to elevate the quality, relevance, and actionability of the content or they might find the audience wishing they were elsewhere.

Three Key Takeaways:

  • Speaking in person allows you to "feel the room." Speaking into a webcam gives nothing back, so you have to ensure your content and stories resonate in a virtual format.
  • If you developed new business models due to the pandemic, don’t discard them now! Discover ways to scale your business to incorporate both the old and the new.
  • As in-person events return, speakers have to deliver high-quality content to justify the expense and travel time of on-location keynotes.