☄️ How to elevate the status of your next keynote

Featuring Tristan Harris from The Social Dilemma

Earlier this year I watched a keynote that has fundamentally changed how I see the world. It's rare that a presentation completely stops me in my tracks these days, let alone an hour-long keynote. And it was all because it did this…

Ground your stories in recognisable historical events

Let me explain…

In March, some of the world's leading technologists came together for a private gathering chaired by Steve Wozniak (Apple's Co-Founder).

The subject matter? A.I.

The keynote speakers? Tristan Harris and Aza Razkin. They were behind the Emmy-winning Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma.

Their first 5 minutes is a masterclass on how to get an audience to take your message seriously. But it was this 21-second clip that made me give the talk my undivided attention… 🍿

You will have seen this technique used before…

Perhaps most famously with Simon Sinek, who referenced Martin Luther King, The Wright Brothers and Apple in his TEDx talk.

For me, Tristan has taken it to the next level.

Here’s how he did it…

  1. Make it personal 🫶
    Framing the anecdote with “The feeling I’ve had personally…” helps us to connect on a deeper level with the speaker. It gives us an insight into how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking.

  2. Find a recognizable historical event to draw comparison with 📜
    Tristan used Oppenheimer and The Manhattan Project to elevate the status of his keynote. It gave everything that he said from that moment on a greater sense of importance. It’s an incredibly powerful technique.

  3. Then highlight the contrast between the two events ⚖️
    This creates tension. Making the narrative more compelling and thought-provoking in turn.

It's not being deployed in a safe and responsible way.
It's being deployed in a very dangerous way.

So ahead of your next talk, get thinking…

What historical event could you use to
elevate the status of your message?

The event you choose could be the ingredient that takes your next talk from good to great. Let me know how you get on!


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