What is a Keynote Speaker?
A keynote speaker is an expert who speaks professionally on their specific area of expertise. It is a huge benefit to audiences if this keynote speaker is informative as well as entertaining. Audiences react better to a keynote speaker that has a great message and conveys that message in an entertaining way.
Imagine yourself as an audience member at your company’s annual convention. You have probably experienced a speaker that nearly put you to sleep. Maybe this was the president of your company or organization? It does not take a lot to be a good keynote speaker. In fact, there are many speaking coaches and speech writers that can help you improve your keynote speech.
Even some of the best professional speakers on the circuit use speech writers and coaches to help them improve their content. As far as expertise, you either have it or you don’t.
We believe that keynote speakers have to also be performers. When you think about the keynote speech, it is a type of performance. Below in this blog post, we have included five speaker demo videos of four of the best keynote speakers on the circuit. They are professional speakers and earn their living full time as a keynote professional speaker.
There are however, industry specific keynote speakers as well. When I think of industry specific expert keynote speakers, I think of Jack Welch, Steve Jobs and Floyd Wickman. I suspect you can think of at least one industry specific keynote professional speaker that you have seen in the last year.
Then there are the celebrity keynote speakers like Bill Cosby, Stedman Graham and Marlo Thomas. This is where you get excellent entertainment with a message. For example, Marlo speaks about how her father inspired her to become an actress as well as carry the message about Saint Jude Children’s Hospital to her audiences. Celebrity keynote speakers are always a great draw to build attendees for your events but not always great keynote speakers.
Beware of the keynote speaker who does not have the proper tools available for you to make a decision if they are right for your audience. Many professional speakers make good supplemental speakers for your event but are not good for the main stage. Meeting planners are good a detecting speakers who are not keynote material so if you are trying to put on a successful event without a meeting planner, you should consider bringing one on your convention team.
Here are five samples of great keynote speakers: