Killer Keynotes – Volume 1

Killer Keynotes

Anyone who has delivered a keynote address, surely wanted to first survive the experience and second to provide something to the audience that filled their need. When a speaker speaks from their own passion and personal belief, the odds of creating an energized audience who are moved to action by what you have said increase. We all hope for those comments from listeners who proclaim, “You changed my….” They reward us with recognition and resolve to continue proclaiming that message that is our One Central Truth (OCT).  The OCT is not limited. You can have more than One Central Truth, the term simply refers to something that you  believe in so strongly that it holds a central position in your life and belief structure.  When we speak to audiences about the OCT’s that we have identified in our lives we can speak with passion and conviction. Even when members of the audience disagree with our message they cannot doubt our conviction and passion.

One Central Truth

OCT: “Family holds the preeminent position in my life.” When I talk about my family pictured on page one, it is not hard for me to be passionate. They are the source of great happiness in my life and also great sorrow. My father-in-law pictured in the wheelchair passed away in November 2013. (A copy of my speech at his services is available to read on my website He was a fantastic example of a loving husband, father, father-in-law and friend. He was a part of my life for forty years, and forty-years of his neighbors attended his services and recounted how he helped them along the way.  He was surrounded by eighteen members of his family in his final days. He was a quiet man with firm convictions and a solid purpose in life: love his family.  How can you not be passionate when you talk about such fine examples of the human spirit.

Whether your OCT is family or something else. If you are going to present your ideas to an audience with the hope that they will believe you and possibly be moved by your words: start with a clearly defined OCT.

When I train speakers, I always start by helping  them understand and identify who they are, e.g., what is the personal philosophy that drives their life: their One Central Truths. I am always surprised at how difficult a process this is for some. It is unfortunate that many people go through life without ever stopping to think about the wisdom that they routinely even systematically apply to the events that occur in their life. Whether people know it or not, nearly every decision that they make derives for the Central Truths they hold in their mind.

If you want to get the most out of your speaking start by setting aside some uninterrupted time to answer the question: “Who are you?” Identify the people and things the you most value in your life, the beliefs you hold so strongly that you would surrender your life before the belief. Now you will begin to comprehend what you have to talk about that people will be interested in.