The Real Nature of Keynote Speaking


The Real Nature of Keynote Speaking

Many people wanted to engage in keynote speaking. Perhaps they saw the glamorous life – the surface – of being a keynote speaker. Behind the veil, however, are the monumental challenges that a keynote speaker must face. If you’re planning to take the path of keynote speaking, you should understand its very core.

What is a keynote speech? Basically, it’s a speech with a particular mission. Event coordinators and organizations hire keynote speakers (usually influencers) to deliver specific concepts to audiences. People are often confused regarding the true nature of keynote speeches. It’s important to know how to separate a keynote speech from other ‘keynote-like speeches.’

The Types of Keynote-like Speeches

Instructional Speech

Instructional speeches can somehow be easily distinguished from traditional corporate keynote speaking gigs. Most instructional speeches have step-by-step processes that can be followed by all listeners. The flow is coherent so that people can understand every point being relayed. Instructional speeches are used by organizations to raise awareness about a product or a new system.

Educational Speech

Just like instructional speeches, educational talks have coherent and clear points but they hinge on educational aspects. Schools and colleges use educational speeches to bolster the morale of their students or emphasize the importance of a new policy. Many educational speakers are also known for mixing up motivation points to further raise audience interest.

Entertainment Speech

Focused mainly on leisure and keeping the audience enthralled, entertainment speeches are lively and full of style. You can’t run an entertainment speech if you don’t have few interesting tricks up your sleeve. You also need to master the art of humor so that your audience won’t be bored. Good entertainment speeches can also boost the morale of people, but they rarely entice new actions or decision-making factors. Entertainment speeches are good for connecting the subjects and the event coordinator.

Motivational Speech

More often than not, people mistakenly consider motivational speeches as keynote speeches. While a keynote speech has a tendency to be motivational, it highlights important points that can drive people to make action. Motivational speeches, on the other hand, are focused on pure motivation and self-development. While there are actionable items, they are not as exact as the concepts presented in a keynote speech. Motivational speeches can also be drive by pictures, videos, and stories. Keynote speeches, however, are driven by real-time data.

Now that you know the types of keynote-like speeches, it’s time to step up your game by applying some useful strategies.

Keynote Speaking Tactics

Determine Your Purpose

Can you imagine a speech without any real direction or core message? A speech like that is doomed to fail because it contains nothing but fragmented bits of data. Before you even make your first speech draft, you must determine your purpose. This is the core message that will contain all the viewpoints that you’re going to present. Determining the core message will take time because you have to learn all of the objectives of the organization. Once your core message is set, you can now proceed to the other important sections of your speech.

Research 101

Just like any other speech, you must have a proper research. Keynote speeches are well-targeted, and they’re used by organizations to drive a certain point. Therefore, you must research about the host organization’s business process, strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and direction for the coming years. Keep your research short and detailed – do not overload the audience with too much information. To make your research realistic, you need to understand the client’s organization inside and out. Don’t view the organization through the lens of an ‘outsider.’ Consider yourself as part of the organization and be authentic in knowing its core challenges.

Host-Speaker Openness

Before you partake in any keynote speaking gig, there must be a host-speaker openness system in place. This is a short mutual agreement that shows the expectations of both sides. In your case, you would probably expect to be paid in full for your services. In the client’s side, effectiveness of the output is expected. If any side falls short of the agreement, there might be some issues. Therefore, you must look for clients who are totally worth your time. Use social media in your search so that you’ll get proper leads.

Utilize Interviews

As part of your research, you can utilize the informational strength of interviews. You can interview people in the client’s organization to uncover data that can be useful in your speech. You should also interview the organization’s founder to learn more about in-depth strategies and company objectives. Interviews can give robust life to your speech, but they must be solidified using organized general data.

Organize Your Points

All keynote speeches must have strong, organized points. With the help of your visual aids, the audience will see the points that you’re trying to emphasize. Coherence is important – don’t leap from one point to another without a proper flow. If you need to get back to a previous point, emphasize it properly. Also, the points must be totally connected with the organizational message. Don’t put your whims or subjective notions unless they’re approved and can drive the speech forward. It’s also important to deliver the points strongly so that the audience will remember them. Continuous practice will help you ease up your speech’s viewpoints in a beautiful flow.

Commit to Professional Marketing

After successfully running your first few keynote speaking gigs, you now have a portfolio. You must include this portfolio in your website if you want to gain new clients. On top of that, you must create a marketing arm so that you can promote your services regularly. While you can do organic marketing freely, it’s more effective to spend money on outsourcing. Once the marketing phase of your career is outsourced, you can focus on other important things. Remember, your career won’t survive without any form of marketing.

Keynote speaking is a beneficial and profitable profession that you can aim for. However, you need to be ready – competition in this arena is tough. You need to follow the mentioned strategies to increase your chances of becoming a good keynote speaker. 

Published 28 Feb 2018