The keynote speech, as the introduction to your event, defines the theme of your event and brings all its other components together. It should not only engage and motivate your audience but also challenge them to reach for a goal.
There’s more to a keynote speech than just an hour-long welcoming remark for your corporate or industry event. No matter how well-planned your event is, it isn’t complete until tied together by a keynote speech that stirs its listeners and goads them to action. Choosing the right speaker and theme at the start of your gathering can make a world of difference for you and your attendees.
The Need for Speakers
Keynote speeches set the tone for the entire event; how the audience responds at this juncture determines their interest in what the rest of the event has to offer. Investing in an excellent keynote hypes the attendees and makes them look forward to the rest of the event’s discussions.
For the most part, getting a speaker is about securing a fresh perspective. A great speaker does more than motivate employees and other attendees. They provide never-before-seen insight into the audience and motivate them to take action.
The speaker you select for your event should be an expert in a specific field and be charismatic enough to attract the attention for the audience. For especially large or significant events, big-name experts and celebrities are often chosen as guest speakers for this reason. After all, who doesn’t want to be part of an event where big-name businesspeople and sports stars kick off with a bombastic opening message?
Because speakers need to give fresh insight, they do not have to be in the same industry as your company and event attendees. They do, however, need to have a message that’s thematically resonant to your event’s goals and purpose. A speaker also needs to balance an intellectual impact with an ability to enthrall their audience. The best speakers for this job are not only very eloquent but also very flexible, capable of adapting to their audience without causing them discomfort. Rather than focusing inward on their accomplishments, they should also guide how they overcame their obstacles.
Although you should seek a speaker whose message is on brand with your event, you shouldn’t be afraid to have the speaker go on a tangent and present an intellectual challenge to your audience. Work with them as closely as you can to help the speaker compose a speech suited for your event.
Expectations and Impact
There’s more to an excellent keynote speech than just glib slogans and hurrahs (or, for that matter, opportunities to selfie with your favorite celebrities). At its core, a keynote speech is an introduction; it is pivotal to introducing your audience to new concepts and perspectives. Even the most eloquent speakers cannot do the job of selling a strategy or solution. That’s what the rest of your event is for.
What they can do, however, is introduce a goal or idea and spur a desire in people to achieve it. The speaker must empower the audience, not spoon-feed them.
To be truly effective, a keynote speech must challenge its audience to think. It’s not enough for a speech to be engaging. The best public speakers leave a lasting impact on their audience by inspiring them to change the way they think about a topic. This not only leaves them more receptive to the event’s themes but also motivates them to share ideas of their own based on what they’ve learned.