Keynotes That Deliver – Dial Testing Your Next Big Presentation

keynote presentation testing

When most people think of dial testing, they think of how it’s being used in more visible research, like gathering feedback on political speeches or debates, or for tv pilot testing. But an area where we’re seeing recent growing interest in dial testing is in keynote presentations.

In today’s age of TED Talks, keynote presentations have gotten a great deal more attention, and with it, presenters have had to really up their game. Developing, refining and delivering a keynote now requires a lot more rigor. But the best keynotes still rely on tried-and-true storytelling techniques; the first of which is understanding how to connect with your audience.

In her presentation guidebook Resonate, communications expert and author Nancy Duarte states, “The audience does not need to tune themselves to you – you need to tune your message to them. Skilled presenting requires you to understand their hearts and minds and create a message to resonate with what’s already there. Your audience will be significantly moved if you send a message that is tuned to their needs and desires.”

For those of you familiar with dial testing, this is where the pieces start to fit together. Because for decades, dial testing has been one of the most effective methods of gauging how messages resonate with an audience. As a leading approach to audience research, dial testing has some distinct benefits for those looking to develop, refine and deliver keynote presentations:

Dial testing’s ability to gather continuous, second-by-second feedback allows you to evaluate individual segments or messages of the presentation in addition to the presentation as a whole

In addition to testing presentation content, dial testing allows you to evaluate how the content is delivered

Dial testing allows you to efficiently test and compare different versions of segments or messages and zero in on which works better

Dial testing can be done both in-person or online so you can mirror the environment you audience will be watching it in

So, here’s the biggest takeaway for those of you working on keynote presentations… you can take an educated guess as to whether your presentation will hit the mark with your audience, or you can dial test it and ensure it does. If you want to explore the latter and the timing’s good, give us a shout.

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