Keynote speeches serve various purposes, from business events to electoral campaigns, even conferences and school graduations. A keynote is the talk that summarizes the central theme of an event. It sets the mood and supplies the most important agenda of an event to its audience, thus it can’t just be looked over. Because it is a highlight, most organizers look for the best keynote speakers out there to give an hour or less of inspiring talk. Usually, organizers select those who have expertise on a certain field directly related to the event’s purpose. For instance, they would look for a successful CEO if the event is a corporate one, a famous alumna for a college graduation, or an esteemed fashion icon for a runway event.
A speaker’s background on the topic or event is very much required. Sometimes, the name of the speaker alone is enough to entice people to attend. If independent speakers are not available, organizers can hire one in a speakers bureau.
The task of keynote speakers can be a real challenge, even if it is just for a day or a permanent job. Speaking in public itself is not easy at all, more so delivering an event-highlight kind of speech. These tips do not assure one will become a wonderful speaker in a day, but they sure will help overtime:
1. Know the purpose
And make sure it’s clear. Coordinate with the organizers so as to make sure the speech is in line with the event’s purpose. Take time to really understand the topic first and one would never go wrong in front of many people.
2. Recognize the listeners
In order to connect with the audience, it will help if you recognize them. Tune your jokes and words to the kind of audience that you have. Remember, there are different kinds of people, but keynote speakers just have to know what they need to hear.
People won’t care what degree or position you have; if they can’t relate to your speech, they’d end up bored. Let them relate. Share experiences, even if it means being vulnerable. Here’s a tip: tell them one of your downfalls or your greatest weakness and use it to prove a point. Say stuff that do not only sound good and smart, but those that really strike the heart.
4. Crack jokes
Who doesn’t love keynote speakers who know how to lighten up the air? A bunch of jokes at hand is always useful to engage the audience (and to make sure no one falls asleep). A smart, motivational speaker is one thing, but it’s a plus if he can give the listeners a few good laughs. It’s also a form of connecting, and one that is sure to make you remembered.
5. Use visuals
Unless you lived under a rock for years and missed the advancement of tech, most people are pretty much used to PowerPoints and Prezis. Use these applications to your advantage. Make slides of your talk’s main points so your audience could write them down. Insert charts or graphs to prove a point with a visual twist. Also, videos would be much appreciated.
6. Stay confident
There are a lot of slips and embarrassing moments that could have been prevented if one just remained confident. Just think of all those stutters, mispronounced words, and nervous habits that make a terrible speaker. Yes, it’s understandable that not everyone is a wonder at public speaking, but it helps to just go through a speech without the goof-ups. Effective keynote speakers believe in themselves, own the stage, and deliver a kick-ass speech, because they can