Remote Speaking Re-Imagined

There is so much talk right now around “What will happen to the speaking business?”

The truth is, we do not know. Not for sure. We know that what ‘was’ will likely never be again – and we know that what ‘is’ is temporary. What ‘will be’ is yet to be determined. What ‘will be’ will be born out of our collective creative and innovative ideas, mixed with a new hunger for technology to make our ideas work.

Just like there were many different but successful styles of speaking and delivery before – there will be many different and successful innovations. I see many of us scrambling to adapt and pivot, and looking to ‘copy’ each other and I think it is a mistake.

Currently, the most widely accepted vision of remote speaking is the creation of a hybrid model of speaking. We will see live meetings and conferences that are set up to maintain social distancing. That likely means 2 seats between each attendee and double spacing in the rows. So, in essence, conference organizers will only be able to accept one third to one-half of the people they hope will attend, resulting in MUCH smaller live events.

However, we expect to see the addition of a live stream component. Speakers will now be ‘teams’ where one will deliver to the audience as ‘normal’ – remembering they have a secondary unseen audience who will be having a different learning experience – and one (or two) handling the live stream, keeping engagement up, and handling all the tech.

“But how will I feed off an unseen audience” is the cry of so many remote speakers right now, and Kristin Arnold had a great answer – ask that the audience reactions be live-streamed back to you. If they are on Zoom, that screen could be projected to the back of the room. If there are too many or you find it too distracting, your tech person could have monitors to watch and an earbud to whisper “that doesn’t land” with the virtual audience. Or (insert next innovative idea here)

There has never been ONE way to do anything, and remote speaking is no different. And ultimately, the example above is just ONE way that it will change. our imaginations and our new demand for technology is just beginning to form and stretch here. Below are some ideas I am playing with – and I encourage you to add your own ideas. Don’t limit yourself to what you have in your home office right now. don’t limit yourself to the technology you own, or even what you know about. If it seems a bit ‘out there’ that is fine. after all, when the wheel was invented it didn’t make a lot of sense at the time either.

  • Several years ago, one CAPS member had a life-sized cardboard cut out of himself walked out on stage and (and camera) delivered an absolutely hilarious talk using just his voice.
  • I have seen speakers using holograms (albeit – that would be super-pricey right now)
  • At our last CAPS conference, Lorne Kelton offered a brilliant hybrid model where he delivered a live talk while interacting with a video of himself.
Click the image to watch a brief snippet of Lorne’s presentation

Some additional remote speaking ideas include:

  • More of a ‘movie’ experience – where talks are pre-recorded but live in a membership portal and the live elements are more consulting, coaching, webinars, Q&A, masterminds etc. (in my mind- this is a brilliant option as it could create ongoing revenue for years after the talk)
  • A resurgence and reinvention of the idea of a group summit. Multiple virtual events and remote speaking taking place over several hours with live audience interaction
  • Facilitation as a new revenue source

One thing to remember is that there have been people delivering hybrid events and innovating in the speaking industry for years. We are not ‘inventing’ the wheel, we are looking at things others have been doing and adapting it for our own businesses.

What will you change? What ideas do you have? Share and comment below.

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About Lauren Pibworth

Lauren Pibworth is an internet marketing strategist specializing in growing the business of professional speakers. Lauren and her team of graphic designers, web developers and online product and course development and launch specialists work with speakers who want to diversify their revenue streams and move 'beyond the keynote' through smarter marketing solutions, delivered with care.

Lauren (an amateur sommelier) and her husband enjoy fine Ontario wines, great food and travel to exotic, warm destinations where they spend the majority of their time underwater - scuba diving.

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