So I’ve spent the last couple of days inventorying exactly what type of content bank we have collected within our team, and I even surprised myself. We now have totaled 120 distinctly different topics about this fast-accelerating world of change. With new members joining our collective this quarter, it will likely grow to above 150 by the end of 2018. These topics range from the popular and mainstream as our presentation and study Digiball on “The Future of Sport” to the more clinical and technologicallly surgical Big Data for Business Decision Makers. None of us have ever been sharks or dragons before, we haven’t been on the front cover of Forbes or Fast Company and we have never opened up a SxSW conference, but damn … we do know a lot.
The Baskin Robbins of Transformation – Our Variety of Presentation Topics:
Certainly for Canada, and perhaps the world, we can likely start laying claim to the biggest reservoir of content and presentation stimulus on our core expertise Transformation and Futureproofing . Here’s some of the stats:
- Futureproofing & Disruption – 25 different topics
- Technology & Digital – 25 different topics
- Brands & Customer – 27 different topics
- Culture & Talent – 13 different topics
- Leading and Transforming a Winning Business – 15 Different Topics
- Innovation & Business Models – 15 Different Topics
Even it’s not on our list, I’m sure our experts could craft something up. Here’s our full ready-to-go library.:
Do You Want a Performance, A Celebrity or Solve a Real Problem?
It’s just not the breadth and variety. In many cases, I can say unapologetically that our Wikibrands collective is the best possible group you can invite into your midst, superior to the three poles that we play up against
- “the all style/little substance, on-the-circuit “professional speakers,
- “the handcuffed and frequently dry” corporate executives and
- the “fresh-faced, insta-experts and celebrities with a schtick”.
I’ll admit sometimes, it’s great to unwind from business and escape reality with an exciting high octane keynoter e.g. learn how to juggle (an essential life skill that still alludes me),,find out how paddling across the Atlantic can build my innovation output (that guy was really cool, not too sure if that company ever innovated well) or be swept away with a Tim Ferriss-ian 4 Hour Work Week promise (that frequently leaves you soul-searching months later) But we don’t need this inspiration all the time, right? It feels like each of these pools of speakers sings from the same hymn sheet:
- most professional speakers have to burnish their credentials and name drop before they enter the stage, deliver pithy, 7 word soundbytes on their formulaic powerpoint with conviction and leave the room without really individually connecting – the best ones can hold the room for an hour in a magical way but most rarely if ever drive behavior change
- most insta-experts or celebrities have had something interesting or novel happen by them or sometimes to them, the journey can be entertaining in itself witnessing their rough-hewn stage act as they recount an individual narrative. At best, they can thrill us on what’s possible even fand leave us with the hope of “maybe even me”, but most have a really challenging time parlaying their experience with the needs of their audience, and many dramatize their own me vs. the world experience to the point of cringe.
- corporate executives or CEOs are an interesting bunch, get many of them around a dinner table and they can be quite charismatic, but wind them up on stage, and many appear as interesting as dry white toast. They slip into the vernacular of their business speak, it’s a real gift and art of sayinga lot without really saying that much. And their PR handlers ensure they stay on their message track so that nothing provocative can be retweeted or repeated later. The events of the last year have also questioned and exposed whether solely chasing people of this type of positional authority is really the high moral and most trustworthy ground
We’re not saying we’re perfect, but we do think our Wikibrands’ speaker hub functions as an interesting alternative to the above.
Here are 7 simple reasons why I’ll stack up my crew of independent virtuosos and heady content at least eight times out of ten vs. the other possible speaker options.:
- We Customize Our Stuff – I can speak for most of our members by suggesting that we rarely if ever do the exact same presentation twice; customer-driven s one of our 5 key values. Ask this group or this group of elite management thinkers, they have offended this principle many times.
- We’re Credible & Professional – the average experience of our collective members is 20 years; many of us have put our own livelihoods on the line as independents and consequently, we live, breathe and sleep our stuff out of intellectual curiosity, professional necessity and underdog survival instinct.
- We’re Energetic & Empathetic – we put a premium on audience ratings (our last ten have been 4.5 out of 5) and frequently the score boils down to: did they bring passion? could you see that they care about the subject matter? and the audience? did they quench my hunger to learn/gather a new perspective? and were they likable? Whether art or science, we think we achieve these regularly.
- We’re Practical & Valuable – our speakers, consultants, and experts are not only talkers, they are doers, many are former clients who understand that transformation is tough, requiring some blue sky, in the trees ideas and concepts but also a healthy chunk of pragmatic in the trenches advice.
- We’re Fresh & Up-to-Date – most of us would be out of business if we didn’t stay up-to-speed with our profession and the disruptions around it, but we also power our speakers with 6-8 foresight research studies we conduct each year, equipping them with the latest expert opinion on matters
- We Provide Great Value – well we didn’t say cheap, but I would make the comparison that many of our experts provide better insight, foresight, and experience than people paid 3-5X as much for engagements.
- We Have an Unparalleled Breadth of Topics – we cover the full range of transformation – the 6 big sections and 120 splinters underneath with experience across the full expanse of industries, Frequently we will even collaborate and professional develop ourselves for better outcomes.
When Do You Give Us a Shout
In dating parlance, event keynotes and executive briefings function as a first coffee date for us, it is the least risky and least time-consuming way to get to know an important audience or future client. We tend to get involved with clients across 6 different levels, keynotes being a first step of involvement.
- Keynotes & Brieifngs (event, corporate or other)
- Workshops, Labs, Immersions and Planning Sessions
- Special projects & Thought Leadership
- Research and Training Curricula
- Consulting & Services
- Fractional CxO / Contract Resource
Therefore, It behooves us to do a really good job in front of your initial audience because candidly we’d like to work with them if they have an amazing problem or juicy opportunity to follow up on (or they are trying to find one).
Here are the 5 typical reasons why you might want to get us involved in your next business offsite, association event, member/customer VIP event or executive board/team meeting in the first place:
Why is It Important Our Members End Up On Stage
As a speaker myself for the last 10+ years, I’ll make an admission that will surprise some people. Generally, conference and event attendees don’t go to conferences to hire for further work. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very important touch point, but usually one at the very start of a possible relationship. An insightful San Francisco bike shop owner once provided the important context contained in The Law of Seven Touches – only 2% of sales are made on the first contact. Yes, by seven touches, you are likely doing the business equivalent of getting married and having kids but that requires a number of steps.
So beyond this intimate, disarming yet long candle wick of a first event touch, there are three reasons I get a charge of seeing our wickedly smart and insightful members on stage:
- a) they are the best – I have handpicked all of them and evaluated them vs. 5 values and believe they are, on their own subject matter, at the top of their game – if you have any faith in society, merit should always rise and be given a place at the top.
- b) we are the challenger brand – Wikibrands is attempting to upset the apple cart of the professional services stage – in as many forums as we can, we need to be looking smart, hungry and spreading the message that your consulting, agency, technology and change work can be decentralized, disintermediated and on-demand
- c) your company, your team, your audience needs this – the world is traveling 7.7 faster than it was a generation ago, most start-ups fail, most transformations don’t pay out, most innovation struggles to be accepted, most talent is disenchanted and most companies lag their customers in acceptance of change, technology, and the future. Don’t you want a group of passionate and experienced zealots with a steady hand on the wheel that can say “I understand, I’ve been there before, now here’s what I did and here’s what my peer set does too”