Great news! Your business is doing well, so a colleague has asked you to be a keynote speaker at their next event. This is a wonderful opportunity. Before you start writing your speech, check out these top secrets of the best keynote speakers.
Prepare But Be Ready To Improvise
Do not memorize every word of your speech. Know your key points and have a general idea of what you are going to say. An overly rehearsed script will go over like a lead balloon. Feel out the room by asking a few questions, rhetorical or otherwise. Use the audience’s response to tailor your speech and keep it relevant. If you ask a question related to your speech that gets poor feedback, drop it and move on. Finally, be ready for an unexpected challenge. If your microphone malfunctions or there is a power cut, you need to be able to improvise. If someone asks an unrelated question about pink sheet stocks, do not lose your cool. Laugh it off and the audience will respect your confidence. Remember the best keynote speakers are prepared but able to switch gears on the fly.
Obviously you should not be a keynote speaker about something you are passionate about, whether you are talking about CPR history or big data. However, it is also equally as important to be able to convey your passion for the topic to the audience. The best keynote speakers not only feel passionate about their subject matter, they are able to successfully emote that passion in their speech. Their ability to demonstrate their passion and relate it to the audience in a way that they begin to feel passionate about the subject matter as well is the defining element of what sets good keynote speakers from the best keynote speakers. Practice making passionate speeches to improve your ability to transfer that passion to the audience.
Engage Your Audience
You need to engage your audience. The best keynote speakers will make eye contact with a specific person and speak to them for 10 seconds before addressing the room again. Move your focus around the room when you do this. If you see someone that looks unhappy, try to get a laugh out of that person. Tell a story to engage your audience. Make it lighthearted but do not be afraid to talk about a time you failed. Your honesty will make it easy for the audience to relate to you. Use your personal experience throughout your talk. For example, describe how you may have overcome struggles such as working from home because you couldn’t afford an office space. The best keynote speakers will tell a story and speak openly to engage their audience.
Dispel A Myth
This is a great way to make your speech memorable. Highlight a common practice in business and then tear it down. Speak from experience about a business technique that does not work. It could be a customer service method that you found outdated. It could be a business success story where you thought outside the box and then threw that box out entirely. Some of the best keynote speakers hook their audience by sharing a secret that goes against expectations.
Have A Takeaway
The best keynote speakers leave their audience with something to take home, just like any purchase order format. The stories you told are great, but you need something physical also. A sample of your product might work. However, it has to be something that your audience will remember and talk about later. If you wrote a book, get your host to purchase a copy for each attendee. If that is too costly or you have not written one yet, give out cards listing the top five points of your speech. Make it short and sweet. The best keynote speakers ensure their audience has something memorable to take home with them.
Negotiate a speaking fee. The best keynote speakers get paid for their talks. You should too! Your time and experience are valuable. You would not have been asked to speak were that not the case. Your fee should be separate from the host buying your book, as mentioned in the previous section. One exception to this is if you are working on new material. When testing out a speech on an audience, you may wish to waive your fee. This allows you to throw out a few new ideas and see what sticks. Once you have perfected the material, make sure you get paid just like the best keynote speakers.
The best keynote speakers are able to engage their audience and adapt their speech to the room, no matter whether they are talking about how to buy a foreclosure or the declining bee population. You should do the same. Share a surprising truth about your industry and leave your audience with something to take home. Finally, be sure you get paid for your time. Remember this post when you are preparing for the big event.
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