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I’m a big fan of the SLA’s approach towards getting speakers from outside the industry. To get beyond the echo chamber of information-profession ideas, ideally we should be speaking at non-library conferences and non-library people should be speaking at ours.
That said, if the keynote is phoning it in and hasn’t linked what they’re saying to the themes of the conference or the profession, that’s a turn off.
I think these days a conference needs to be full of specific actions and take-homes – talks and sessions that say “here is thing X and here’s how you can apply it to your career / information service”. Assuming that’s covered well, the Keynote is a good opportunity to explore bigger ideas and approaches.
I was engaged, but I can’t say the keynote speech was memorable. The whole idea of ‘enchantment’ seemed distant from theme as Ned mentioned. In addition, I can’t say that I was inspired anymore than I was when I came in the room. However, I will say that Guy tried since he did provide context of his talk through his book. So I would give him a B for effort.
He engaged me at the humor level for sure – I think that’s an important hook – and Kawasaki certainly used some of the techniques described by James Kane to engage your audience! I’m not sure I quite agreed with all he was saying, and it was what I would consider a more generic speech rather than one more tailored to the audience. (In other words, I agree with Ned and Jamal about the theme disconnect.)
Agree with Ned and Jamal (and Ruth, who agrees with them). Would like perhaps more good questions than clever answers. What *don’t* we know?
I agree with the above comments. I don’t feel like Kawasaki gave a *keynote* address – one that was thought-provoking and inspiring.
I still think of many of the insights I got from Thomas Friedman’s keynote, and the comments from Neil deGrasse Tyson. I know it’s hard to find that caliber of speaker every year, but I would use them as the gold standard for effective, compelling, engaging keynoters.
-Mary Ellen Bates
From @henare on twitter: kawasaki’s keynote was entertaining and could be applied anywhere. bonus: not so much gloom and doom! #SLAchat #SLAchicago
I guess my thoughts are similar. It was entertaining, a fun and memorable reminder of principles of creating personal engagement in a professional setting. What I wish I could recall is the why behind Alltop and what it means to people. To perhaps be reminded, in the face of budget cuts, why organizing information and helping others to find and use it is a vital service. I especially appreciate the speakers who have reminded me of the importance of our work; a few of the standouts for me have been Molly Ivins, Gwen Ifill, Peter Drucker, Neil deGrasse Tyson. And one person who paced around the stage constantly — he was inspiring — who was that? I can’t recall his name and I don’t think he would care if I remembered his name; he was more about the message. But I did learn from Guy’s speech, certainly.
Kawasaki was lightweight entertainment, infatuated with his own coolness. A wasted opportunity – we deserved better.
I had no idea what to expect from Guy Kawasaki as I was not very familiar with him, but I thoroughly enjoyed his talk. He was entertaining and made some great points. Keynote level speakers give essentially the same talk everywhere, while customizing some at the beginning and end, so I never expect a talk to be all about us. However, a lot of what he said applies to us. I was only disappointed that he did not do a Q&A as audience questions are a great way to get some elements specifically relating to us.
I’m one of the ones who did not attend the keynote; I almost never do at any conference, not just SLA.
Nothing against Guy Kawasaki. Grand speeches just don’t do much for me and I wouldn’t miss them at all if they were not offered. Honestly folks, would you *really* care if there were no keynote?
I’d much rather have even more high caliber sessions – from both inside and outside the profession – that provide really tangible, actionable learning.
Having said that, I always leave each conference with nuggets of information valuable to me and my current responsibilities. And I always enjoy and benefit from the interactions with professional colleagues.
Guy’s speech was entertaining, but left me a little hungry for something else at the end. My favorite keynote was James Kane on Loyalty – that got me excited, encouraged, hopeful and determined to go back and implement his ideas! His was the only keynote I have ever written up afterwards for my C-suite, in years of SLA conferences.