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Elevating Communication: Escaping 'Death by Keynote' with Reiley

In a recent conversation with my colleague, Jason Weible from Mixed Space Studios, we shared a common desire to transform and elevate communication to large groups. (Side note: Mixed Space Studios does some incredibly cool things—give them a call, you won't be disappointed.)


We're all familiar with the term "death by keynote." Despite this, meeting after meeting and conference after conference still rely on traditional keynote communication methods.

Here's a startling fact: According to the Learning Pyramid©, lecturing has a mere 5% retention rate. To put this into perspective, if you invest $100,000 in an event, your ROI (retention) would be a mere $5,000. That's hardly a compelling return on investment.

Now, let's dream together about how this could be different.


Think of the most impactful keynotes, Ted Talks, or meetings you've experienced in the last five years. Chances are, the ones you remember were filled with personal anecdotes, substantial information presented in digestible chunks, and abundant imagery—whether through storytelling or actual visuals.


Communication that revolves around storytelling consistently outperforms raw data. Always.

I can prove it. You might only remember 1-3 "great" keynotes you've attended, but you can probably recall the plots of at least 50 movies.


So, how can we make communication more effective?


Find ways to tell stories with your data—both verbally and visually. Create bridges between key points. Use language that evokes emotions and drives change. People may not remember the data, but they will remember how you made them feel. If they leave encouraged, inspired, and onboard, you've succeeded. If they leave feeling exhausted, overwhelmed by data, and uncertain about next steps, you've got more work ahead.


Remember, the power of storytelling and emotional engagement can transform the way we communicate to large groups. It's time to escape the "death by keynote" trap and craft presentations that truly resonate and leave a lasting impact.


For additional resources and specific action items, click here.

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