Many are familiar with keynote speakers. They deliver speeches that are commonly found in conferences and other large, formal discussions. They are employed by companies set the theme of an event and capture its essence. Many keynote speakers are people who are regarded as experts in a particular field. These people are usually hand-picked by organizers. Others are professionals hired by companies. Many charge fees in multiples of thousands, while others do it for free.
There are many keynote speakers out in the world, and it is hard to distinguish oneself from the others. Nevertheless, there are some ways to improve which anyone can apply, from beginners making their first keynote speech to veterans who want to further develop their expertise in public speaking.
Here are seven tips to help any keynote speaker perform like a pro:
1) Research is a must.
In order to perform well, a speaker must provide relevant information to an audience. That person must also convey ideas in a clear and concise fashion. Furthermore, that person must be able to capture the interest of the topic. Research will provide the information required for someone to make a customized speech which does all of these things. One should in particular focus on the overall theme of the event, the purpose of the organizers, and the characteristics of the audience. These bits of information can be readily obtained from the organizers or from an Internet search.
2) Connecting ideas makes them stronger.
When preparing the speech, one should make sure that any information you decide to mention is relevant and blends in well with the rest of your talk. A disorganized piece can easily ruin a keynote speech. Since there will probably be other talks during the event, a keynote speaker should avoid information overload. Instead, a speaker should focus on providing the big picture, priming the audience for other talks.
3) Credibility should never be neglected.
One should constantly check for errors or other inaccuracies. It is very easy for people in the audience to confirm whether something is true or not. Mentioning wrong bits of information can discredit a keynote speaker.
4) Practice makes perfect, almost.
While it is true that some have an innate talent in public speaking, it does not mean that other people have no chance of becoming effective keynote speakers. One should practice constantly, observe any faults, and correct them. An aspirant keynote speaker may practice speaking in front of a mirror or in the presence of a small group of people who will then give feedback and suggestions. Practice is a good way to develop any skill, including public speaking.
5) People are more attentive to rich media.
Using other mediums properly in conjunction with a keynote address will help grab the attention of the audience. People simply appreciate vibrant pictures and cool music more than a simple speech. Nevertheless, a speaker should make sure that the rich media does not interfere nor distract from the speech itself. Close coordination with the organizers is also necessary to prevent any mishaps.
6) People respond to personality cues.
The audience uses information about the speaker as a way to judge the validity of any speech. A keynote speaker should decide on what personality to project to the audience. It should match the mood and theme of the event. Regardless of what personality is chosen, people are naturally attracted to confident personas, making it imperative that a speaker project the right amount of confidence.
7) Gestures and movements can make or break a speech.
People typically use metaphors and analogies to make things easier to understand. Keynote speakers may deliberately use gestures to aid comprehension and break monotony. On the other hand, many speakers make mannerisms which do nothing but distract and annoy. One should be very careful with gestures and avoid using them often.
Keynote speeches are a big responsibility, but with the proper attitude and sufficient practice, one can deliver a moving and effective speech.