What I learned drawing over 125 talks in 2018.

2018 was an amazing year for my business, Mind’s Eye Creative. I attribute a lot of my growth from people understanding the power of visuals to not just help them in real-time, in the moment but helping to retain information long term. The intentional work around helping people remember information from amazing speakers is one of my favourite things about my work. I learned a TON from listening to over 125 speakers presentations and talks in the last 12 months. Here’s a few things I learned that hopefully will help you when you are planning for your talks in 2019.

Don’t talk about ALL the things.

A lot of talks I recorded this year were under 35 minutes in length. That is NOT a long time for me to create a giant recording (typically I work in 4 x 8 feet) in size. Keeping up is a challenge. The best talks I experienced when the speaker focuses on fewer subjects and dives deeper into those specific ideas or concepts. Think to yourself - Is it more valuable for give a quick general overview of a ton of things or go deep on one or two ideas? I suggest the later. You’ll be lucky if your audience remembers a fraction of what you said (especially if you don’t have a graphic recorder there) so what do you want them to take away? If you normally do a talk that’s 90 minutes long – instead of taking that talk and shoving it into 30 minutes- cut it down, focus and do that 30 minutes justice.

Pictures vs. Words

With your presentation slides focus on more pictures and less words. You are competing for your audience’s attention. If you have slides full of words then you are asking them to focus on reading or listening to you – it’s difficult to do both at the same time. Keep the photos fun and relevant and you’ll keep your audience from feeling overwhelmed.

Logical Flow

The most difficult talks that I capture is when the speaker doesn’t have what I call a ‘logical flow’. You are taking the listeners on a journey with you. Think about it like
you are telling them a story. Is there a timeline you are giving them? Is there a beginning, middle and end? Are you concluding it with the overall learning you want them to take away?

Insert JOKE here

If you are at a conference and are spending a solid day or two (or even three or more!) listening to speakers your brain can turn to mush and your eyes may start to glaze over. Infusing fun, jokes and things that illicit laughter is awesome. When people are learning information, if there is an added emotional element- meaning you’re getting your audience to ‘feel’ something they are more likely to remember more of that information. Bonus: As a graphic recorder it will give me something fun to draw too!

I’m so excited to be offering a new service in 2019. Speaker Audits! If you are preparing a presentation, a talk and/or a keynote this year I’d love to get my hands on it. I’ll review it, provide some practical tips, suggestions and feedback. If you want to learn more, chat with me about this or sign up feel free to reach out here.

Liked this? Feel free to check out more of my blog posts!

Until next time,


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top