The right keynote speaker for an event is that person who steps on the stage and immediately – and effortlessly – commands respect.
Then, these people will both inspire and educate.
So much so your guests will be grateful to you for having brought them on stage.
But not all keynote speakers are made from the same mold, so here are 4 qualities which will indicate excellence.
This trait comes from achieving a high level of comfort with themselves.
You will be able to spot a real professional from the way they walk, to the way they use their gestures or to the way they know when to drop a hilarious facial expression.
All these while not overdoing it in the least. They are what you would call ‘naturals,’ but they are also hard workers and usually very well trained in the art of public speaking.
This quality is best illustrated with TEDx speakers because they craft their discourse in such a way attendees get value while also getting to know more about the speaker’s life.
This makes the talks incredibly relatable. After all, what can be more inspiring than someone being full-front honest about their struggles or experiences?
In fact, this is a common trait among TEDx speeches: they abound in deeply personal stories which are more relevant than any other crash course or personal growth program.
For instance, a speaker like Richard Lui can make any topic approachable by a broad range of guests.
Despite his impressive career in political reporting and despite being an Emmy and Peabody award recipient, Richard knows how to single out the relatable elements and focus the speech only on them, not on achievements and outcomes.
Regardless whether you are a professional event planner or you organize company events occasionally, you will encounter many types of keynote speakers. Each with their approach and style.
The best ones, however, will impress with the perfect balance and structure of their content.
The best keynotes are not those who overstuff the speech with stats and figures for 2 hours straight. Sure, these are impressive and useful, but attendees are highly unlikely to keep them all in mind.
The best speakers are well aware of their audience’s cognitive processes, so they have learned to master the art of balance. If the speech is rich in technical content, it has to be balanced with analogies or content of various other types.
They also know they do not need to overdo the ‘funny’ part. A bit of self-reference here, a joke there, an industry-specific reference later on.
This is an art not many masters, so you would want to make thorough research keeping this particular aspect in mind.
Rich Experience – A Keynote Speaker’s Best Friend
Last but not least, the keynote speaker should be a professional with a proven track record in an industry.
It sounds a bit commonsensical, but you would be surprised upon hearing many speakers venture into giving keynotes without the necessary professional background.
Instead, their websites or social media profiles will be full of rave reviews, enthusiastic recommendations or warm words of gratitude (preferably from CEOs or executives). Also, a professional ‘about me’ page with online references is a good indicator of a keynote speaker’s professional acumen.
Alternatively, you could specifically ask for their background when you book them via an entertainment booking agency like The Grable Group.
This way, chances are you will find that speaker who possesses the exact qualities you are looking for.