In December I attended a three day workshop on becoming a better keynote speaker. I learned so many things, but one of my biggest takeaways is that all good keynotes must have a fall line. In skiing, a fall line is the most direct route downhill. Skiers try to follow this line, detouring just a bit to each side rather than going way off trail – especially if they are trying to go fast!
In keynoting, the fall line is essentially the central promise of your speech. In other words, if people pay attention, what will they gain from listening to you? The catch is that nothing should deviate too far from this line, you don’t want to weave around through the trees – just get to the point. Even if you have a funny story that kills every time, if it doesn’t support your fall line it shouldn’t be in your speech.
This got me thinking – maybe my LIFE needs a fall line. What is the central promise I am making to myself this year? How do I intentionally live into that promise and not veer too far off?