Keynote speaking is one of the most lucrative activities in the world today. From technology to the corporate sector, many keynote speakers were hired to spread the message of various companies. However, it’s important to know that many people are still unaware of the real definition of keynote speaking. What sets it apart from traditional motivational speaking sessions? What should a keynote speech contain and how long should it be? How much do keynote speakers earn? These are just some of the basic questions people ask regarding the craft of keynote speaking.
To begin with, keynote speakers are professionals tasked to capture the hearts and minds of a specific audience. At first glance, you may think that they are basic speakers slinging a hodgepodge of thoughts and concepts. But that is not the case – keynote speakers have a target, and they must fulfill their mission within 45 minutes or less. Keynote speeches are focused on organizational topics and viewpoints; the keynote speaker’s responsibility is to deliver those points without boring the audience to death.
Now, the next question is imminent: how does one become a good keynote speaker? If you’re considering a career in keynote speaking, these are the factors that you should keep in mind:
Be a Good Researcher
Research is tantamount to any keynote speaking career. Before you even create the outline of your speech, you need to know the core values, concepts, beliefs, paradigms, and message of the organization you’re speaking for. In-depth research is better than just surface research because it will give you better means of conviction. If your research is good enough, you’ll know how to connect with the target audience on a deeper, psycho-emotional level. More importantly, you can answer all questions thrown in your way.
To properly research, you can interview the leader of the organization. Get all important details, such as founding dates and the leader’s vision. Keep your questions short and concise, but all the meaty details must be included. You can even go deeper than that by interviewing some of the subordinates (or employees) of that organization. This will let you know the real deal behind the organization’s processes.
Focus on the Messaging
What is the core message of the organization? This is one of the most important questions that you have to face. Deciphering the core message is not easy, especially if the leader didn’t provide one. Even if he does, you still need to carve it out of the data points from your research. The core message is the pulse that you’d leave in the hearts and minds of listeners. This pulse can cause the listeners to commit to a certain action (i.e. purchase a product) or follow the parameters set by the organization. The core message can also empower the organization’s members so that they can perform with exceptional standards.
Mental Preparation is Key
Everything begins with mental preparation. Once your research is solidified, you have to mentally prepare for the upcoming task ahead. It’s advisable to do this mental preparation few days ahead of the scheduled event. On the day of the event, you can reinforce your mental state by reciting empowerment mantras. Since your internal voice is as important as your real voice, mantras can act as guiding beacons. A mentally prepared keynote speaker has a better shot at success than the one who’s not mentally prepared.
Prepare Stories and Anecdotes
Stories are the spices that can make your keynote speech worth remembering. Many exceptional keynote speakers use stories as examples for their speeches. They are the building blocks of the entire speech, and they hold listeners at awe. You already have a well of experience that can yield different life stories. Or you can just search the best anecdotes in the Web. Just ensure that the stories are connected to the overall theme of your speech. Also, don’t forget about jokes. Humor is a turnkey whenever your speech hits a roadblock. Through proper injection of humor, your audience won’t be bored and they’ll be more open to ideas.
A strong keynote delivery is an important trait that can make your speech profound. While your voice can affect keynote delivery, you should also learn how to string words and sentences into one cohesive flow. Understand: you words should help listeners convey a mental picture of what you’re trying to project. By neglecting this, your keynote speech won’t have the pizzazz needed to retain audience attention. Remember, a good speech is only as powerful as its speaker.
Strengthen Your Focal Points
All keynote speeches are broken down into focal points (keynotes). If your speech is accompanied by a presentation, these focal points can be relayed effectively. Your focal points should contain the key problems and issues of the organization. Strengths and weaknesses can be explored as well. Depending on your core message, the focal points ease up the flow of the speech. So, you must have a strong core message right from the start. Prior to your keynote speech, make sure that your mental outline is ready and the focal points are clear.
Close with Impact
Just like your opening spiel, your closing act should also have a strong impact. You can do this by leaving a compelling question for the audience. Some of the world’s best keynote speakers rely on closing questions to create a lasting impact that would reverberate for weeks or months. The real key is practice and consistently strong delivery. Consider your speech as a musical sheet. You start moderately strong, then soften up the tempo midway. Towards the end, try building up the tempo again – as if you’re moving towards a climactic scene. Afterwards, you can now deliver your powerful closing statement or question. Try to experiment with different sorts of closing spiels so you can find the right match for your keynote speech.
By remembering all of the mentioned viewpoints, your keynote speaking journey will become more successful. Just bear in mind that competition in the keynote speaking arena is tough, and you need to have a convincing portfolio to win clients.