The term “keynote speaker”is one of the most misunderstood terms in the entire industry. Generally, if you ask someone”what is a keynote speaker”, they will tell you that it is a motivational speaker, a plenary speaker, an inspirational speaker, a breakout speaker, a closing speaker, an industry expert or a business speaker. When you tell them that their definition is wrong, they may start to suggest that it is a magician, a ventriloquist, a juggler or even a former Miss World!
The reality is that they aren’t completely wrong, because any of those could indeed be classed as a keynote speaker. That is, if they are able to talk to an audience for at least 45 minutes. And if they cost a whole lot of money, as well. The reality is that a professional speaker is not a keynote speaker (even if they can talk for 45 minutes and charge an insane fee). And the variety of keynote speakers are not actually professional speakers.
A keynote speaker is someone that is able to truly grasp what your meeting or event is about. They can highlight this essence to an audience in just a few minutes. Hence, before they come, they should have spent quite a lot of time doing their research, learning about your industry or business in particular. They also have to understand what sort of issues you are facing, as well as knowing what sort of audience will be faced.
A keynote speaker will spend a considerable amount of time on this research, after which they will create a completely unique presentation that will be a truly distinct and memorable moment for the audience. Each keynote speaker has their own way of doing this. Some use jokes and humour, others ask the audience to participate, others show fascinating clips that encourage people to feel emotions. The tactics they use are actually quite irrelevant, so long as they are able to bring a message across in such a way that it is memorable and fun.
If you need a keynote speaker for your next event, such as an association meeting, a sales meeting or a corporate event, you need to do your research. It isn’t just about picking someone that was good at a different event you went to, or one that has a good online presence. It is about finding a person that is truly good at what they do and give you the added value that you cannot create yourself.