After producing demo video for professional speakers for over 20 years, there’s one thing we know for sure. A keynote speaker is an expert who speaks professionally (thank you Nido Qubein) that incorporates performance, theater and content into their keynote address.
Keynote speakers are first and foremost performers. Anyone who gets on a stage to communicate a message and has low performance value will not do very well as a keynote speaker. Audience members who want to learn about the keynote speaker’s expertise will learn more through a performance than a boring lecture.
Keynote speakers who make it in the professional speaking industry have worked their craft on stage performing similar to a standup comedian or actor. The way to improve your performance is through experience and practice.
Keynote speakers are constantly improving their performance by developing new material, then performing this material with similar stage mechanics used in the theater. A Keynote speaker is also an expert at performing arts. They know how to use the full stage when performing, tell a story and use their body language to communicate in a compelling manor.
Our friend Doug Stephenson at http://www.storytelling-in-business.com/ has been working with keynote speakers, teaching them theatrical performance and storytelling for many years. Doug is the best in the business to help keynote speakers develop and grow. That is why I believe ‘Theater’ is the second key ingredient to be a keynote speaker.
The last and perhaps most important ingredient is content. Keynote speakers who are great performers that have excellent theatrical ability but no content will not make it in the professional speaking industry as a keynote speaker. We meet this group of people all the time. The challenge is to help this group of aspiring speakers with the proper direction to grow in their areas of lack. Content is a very important ingredient in becoming a successful keynote speaker.
Industry specific speakers who present specific content directed to a particular industry will more than likely fill the gap in the conference or convention agenda but will not leave the audience with a lasting impression. This is why keynote speakers are sought after to build meeting attendance and provide value for your audience. A polished keynote speaker who is strong in these three areas is worth every cent because they add value to your meeting. When content is delivered without the use of theatrical skill or performance expertise, chances are the audience’s expectations will fall short.
Coaches like Lou Heckler, Vickie Sullivan and Max Dixon can help you build value in your keynote presentations and grow in any of these three areas you are lacking. If you are serious about being a keynote speaker, analyze your ability for performance, theater and content. Like any profession, constant learning and development is crucial for success.