Business Management

Rant: Avoid tech keynotes with this handy cheat sheet

These days there is so much transformation, innovation and Uberisation on the blend that many technology events are beginning to take on the same beige hue. Irrespective of the market, the industry, or what the company in question has for sale, the formula is pretty much the same. So, forget video conferencing – and all the other fantastic technology that saves you having to bother tipping up in person – I’ve complied this handy cheat sheet which spares you the trouble in just 700 words.


The CEO soundbite – this kick off is bound to be heavy with words like “cutting edge”, “market leading” and “future ready”. NB: If the share price has recently taken a tumble this may be tempered with an extra sprinkling of important buzz terms like “innovation!” and “transformation!”.

The identikit industry overview – next up an expert will get wheeled out to give an overview of the industry. It doesn’t matter what space this is in, “Uberisation” will get a mention, as will the endless opportunities leaping forth in the new digital age. And please, whatever you do, don’t forget the C word: CLOUD. 

The crowd whipping warm-up – this inspirational speaker will have a host of exclamation mark heavy book titles to his or her (but let’s be honest it’s probably his) name and will wow the audience into a frenzy with jokes, industry anecdotes and plenty of upbeat clap-inducing chat. 

The sycophantic solution chirper – after all this general innovation fervour, it is important our friendly tech host gets firmly down to sales business with a bit of positive spiel on the benefits of its fine solution. This is probably a customer case study, but realistically it can be anyone, as long as they’ve got plenty of cheerful stats on tap and are comfortable with a spot of on-stage brown-nosing.

The double act drag-and-drop screen sharers – following the theory, it is crucial we now get introduced to this fabulous tech solution in action. But remember, the most vital thing is that it looks stupidly easy to use. Received wisdom on the best way to achieve this is to introduce a comedy double act onto the stage. This pair often wear conspicuous jackets and the rule is they both play dumb:

#1: So, Bob, could even someone as stupid as me secure the White House from cyberattack in two easy clicks?

#2: Sure Pete, just do exactly what I tell you. First, drag that blue box from the left over to the right and let go.

#1: What like this Bob?

#2: Exactly like that, Pete. In one click you just added double whopper grade protection Plus Plus onto the entire digital White House. [Pause for ecstatic audience applause.] Now, just drag the red box over to the right and jigsaw it into the blue one…

#1: Just like this Bob?

#2: Just like that, Pete. See, how the screen become one giant yellow tick? That’s because you’ve dropped titanium level pro security right on the top! [Second pause for ecstatic audience clapping.]

#1: Wow Bob that was so easy!

#2: I told you Pete!   

The metaphor man (or in 5% of cases woman) – but no matter how simple it all sounds it can still get complicated… and this is where the dedicated metaphor man must appear to do his stuff. It could be a boats analogy, it could be a long ramble on how dog food resembles business applications, but some unlikely parallel must be made – complete with PowerPoint slides. And it absolutely must be rammed home for at least 20 minutes to keep everything crystal clear.

The morality moment – no matter how much this wonderful tech company is changing the world for the better, it must never (I repeat never!) forget the potential for the opposing view. This could be data privacy, it could be that AI is evil, but it is important this company owns that negativity, takes it on the chin and shows everyone Who The Boss Is.

A spot of back slapping booyah – now we’re back on for a final run of positivity. This company IS changing the world for the better. Maybe it offers ERP? Perhaps a novel cloud business app? But however subtle the benefits to mankind may be, there is bound to be plenty of evidence to parade. 

And it’s a wrap – thank goodness for that. It’s all over. Now we can go and nab one of those lovely free cold beers that are on offer. I’ll say this for those tech companies, they can be very generous, when it suits them…


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