Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2 Keynote Home Study Courses: Books 37 & 38 of 52 in 52

I had access to two keynote creation 'home study courses' this year, one by 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking Craig Valentine, another by 2001 WCPS Darren LaCroix and CSP, CPAE, and speaking legend Patricia Fripp. As a Keynote coach myself, I am always looking for additional ideas, techniques, and inspiration to guide me, and add to my own approaches to writing a keynote.

At the end of the day, there's only so many many models to write a keynote, and the more programs you go through, the more you'll hear much of the same information. But just as we get different things from the same types of books based on the author's point of view combined with our own place in life at the time of exposing ourselves to similar information, if we're intentional in our learning approach, we can get a great deal of benefits out of the right programs. The question now is -are these the right programs?

Let's start with Valentine's 'Create Your Killer Keynote Home Study Course' - which offers quite a bit of value for it's $247 price tag:
  1. More than 6 hours of step by step instruction on 5 audio CDs
  2. A sample audio CD with 2 of Craig's LIVE keynote speeches for reference
  3. The 9 Step Create Your Killer Keynote Graphic Model
  4. A 55-page Create Your Killer Keynote Handbook
  5. A 20-page Create Your Killer Keynote Compass to develop 30-60 minute speeches 
A quick caveat - I only had access to the Audio CDs, not the additional content - but I still got quite a bit out of this program.

Craig focuses primarily on techniques, structures, and keynote theory - he'll talk about a concept then back it up with bits and pieces from his own keynotes. The two keynotes provided on CD were very valuable to me, even though I'd heard most of it before, simply because I've seen him in person several times, and followed his free samples and Champion's Edge content. Getting it all together in front of an audience, and really being able to listen to his approach gave me great examples and more than a little inspiration to be out there more myself.

He also offers some interesting insights on creating an introduction that properly sets up your speech before you ever go on stage, provides an in-depth look at his
PARTS: Point, Anchor, Reflect, Technique, and Selling approach to creating points, and spends a fair amount of time on using activities to involve your audience, keeping them awake and connected. His instruction on creating a strong close was also quite strong, offering approaches designed to end on a higher note than many may be used to attempting.

I would have enjoyed hearing more guidance for the listener - well, ANY guidance, really - for developing their personal message - it felt more like a 'you know what you want to say, so here's how to say it' approach. I also would have enjoyed a little less selling on his part - he often suggests we buy his other programs to help us with other important speaking aspects. While this can be perceived as a value add, it came up too many times for my personal tastes.

Overall, however, this keynote course is a great value for the price, and for the speaker who believes they are zoned in on their message, the information, if followed, will certainly aid in creating a strong, valuable, and entertaining keynote speech.

Based on Audio-only, 4 Stars out of 5.

I had greater access to LaCroix & Fripp's 'Create Your Keynote by Next Week', fortunately. It includes a seven audio CD set, and a data disk with live speeches, transcriptions, tip-sheets, and a comprehensive workbook.

For me, getting a chance to hear both of these experts added a great deal of weight to this program. The format is essentially Darren interviewing Patricia, and then adding his own perspective and experiences where appropriate. Audio clips and case studies from BOTH are used throughout, again, to directly support the techniques discussed.

Their approach to keynote structure and theory is similar to Valentine's (though let's face it, Fripp probably heavily influenced Valentine - even he states he's a student, client, and friend of Fripp) - perhaps a little more streamlined.

What stood out to me in this program was it's comprehensive approach. An entire CD is devoted to helping us define what we want to say, and how we can ensure we're saying something our audience wants/needs to hear, and another that covers getting an audience and constantly improving the keynote you'll develop after going through the course.

Since I included some of Craig's sales copy, I'll toss in a bit from CYKBNW's page as well:

  1. The proven 7-step process based on over 40 years of speaking and coaching
  2. Interactive PDF: Fripp Speech Model® (Priceless! You’ll use it again and again!)
  3. All of Patricia Fripp’s proven, “content-generating” discovery questions (mining your life for powerful content)
  4. Easy-to-model, real-life examples
  5. Time-saving secrets for each step
  6. The common mistakes and how to avoid them
  7. Two keynote speeches for you to model
  8. Bonus CD: Patricia’s 17 customizing secrets
Create Your Keynote by Next Week  has a corporate feel to it - with significant information on marketing, ample examples from a professional environment, and a significant teaching component, as they walk you through your message creation. The questions they run through on the first disk alone are invaluable as you move forward to define your approach to your speaking business - one of the most forgotten aspects of keynote speaking is that is IS, after all, a BUSINESS.

At $297, it's more than worth the cost - honestly, when I went to look it up, I was expecting a $497 pricetag. If you're looking for more guidance on message and marketing, this program is ideal for you. 5 Stars out of 5.

An almost final word - you can't really go wrong with either product, as long as you know what you're getting before you buy. Getting them BOTH isn't going to break the bank, and will give you some diversity in teaching styles and lesson focus. I'm glad I've gotten to hear them both.

The actual final word - as good a these programs are, they can only augment, not replace, working with an actual coach. Real-time feedback and back-and-forth brainstorming, editing, and encouragement will help you get the most out of these and any 'do-it-yourself' program.

1 comment:

  1. Good analysis from some one who knows the techniques and industry but also impartial from someone who's obviously a colleague. Thanks!



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