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Speaking Resume

Mar 19, 2018

As President of Snap Synapse, I was recently asked for my Speaking Resume.

“Sure!” I replied, “I’ll send it your way tomorrow.” Only then did I get busy making one.

I did a couple quick searches for what other speakers are using, but little was revealed. I considered asking friends who are professional keynote speakers, but figured I didn’t have time to wait for them to get back to me.

I knew I wanted to scope something only for Learning & Development, and that I would not include any other speaking experiences. No one in this world will care about my experiences speaking about music or journalism or the internet or that 3rd place public speaking award I won in back in 8th grade.

So I went to my calendar and started listing out all my L&D speaking engagements since I started doing them two years ago.

Whoa! Turns out I had way more than I thought. Okay…

How to organize my experiences?

  • chronology = too repetitive
  • alphabetical = no narrative
  • modality = over-emphasizes past experience over future desire
  • themes = I tried but got caught in the overlap trap
  • clients = imperfect…but workable!

How to format it all?

  1. show pictures (one headshot, one action shot)
  2. lead with testimonial/evidence
  3. strong description/summary
  4. highlights to create narrative & interest
  5. list relevant experience

Here is the result. What do you think?

Some context:

After my very first L&D presentation at DevLearn 2015, I decided I would like to do more speaking. Mainly because I wasn’t happy with my performance, and I wanted to get better at it. People seemed to like what I did fine, but I felt like I was still in 3rd place back in 8th grade. So after a lot of practice and hard work in 2016, I got way better! Then in 2017, I started getting paid to speak.

Now in 2018, I feel that I’ve arrived as a speaker. That means I’ve messed up enough different ways that I don’t need to mess up any more. Not to say that I’m perfect, of course I can always improve (and I plan to!). But I know that I can carry the room where the organizers want them to go.

I also know that no matter what goes wrong, it’ll be fine.

  • Even when the schedule gets switched up at the last minute and I was supposed to be on 15min ago but nobody told me.
  • Even if my presentation gets deleted and I have only 20-minutes rebuild an full hour slide deck from memory and without an internet connection.
  • Even when someone has an inappropriate spontaneous outburst/breakdown in the middle of the room.
  • Even when there’s horrible sound & squealing feedback blasting everyone’s ears.
  • Even when the power goes out altogether.

Yes, all of the above and more have really happened to me. When everything breaks, I’m now exactly the guy you want to have on stage. I’ll make sure it works for the people regardless of how smooth everything else is running. I’ll even pitch in with my A/V, admin, entertainment, and people skills to ensure your entire event is running smoothly.

So now I’m at the point where I only say yes to speaking opportunities when there’s some kind of compensation or desired new experience for me. I don’t need the practice, I don’t need to promote my business, and I certainly don’t need “the visibility” for anything.

What I do need is to cover my expenses and offset the time I’ll spend away from my other billable work. That’s about it, really.

Please keep me in mind if you have a need for someone to speak to your audience about:

  • Instructional Design
  • Learning Technology
  • Learning Management Systems
  • Video Production
  • Analytics

Or generally anything that is complex and needs to be made simple. Or is currently boring, and needs to be made fun! That’s what I do.

It all starts with a conversation

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