Being invited to be a keynote speaker for the first time is an important milestone in one’s life. It means that the person has grown considerably in terms of expertise and has quite a bit of influence. It means that someone regards that person as having the communication skills required to set the highlights of a conference and convey ideas to an audience. Many people feel a sense of pride for being requested to share ideas to a crowd for about half an hour or more, but many more feel anxious. This is natural, for fear of public speaking is very prevalent in society. Fortunately, public speaking can be learned. With enough knowledge and practice, practically anyone can deliver a keynote address worthy of applause.
Basically, a keynote speaker, through the delivery of a speech, helps the audience grasp the purpose and theme of an event. A keynote speech gives an idea of what to expect in a conference. It gives a glimpse of the ideas that the organizers want to present to the audience. It also serves to pique the interest of the audience, making them curious and more eager to participate in the conference.
One of the things that a keynote speaker should prepare is the content of the speech itself. While this may seem obvious, some speakers focus on other aspects, such as rich media or gestures, but neglect the quality of their actual speech. These speakers need to learn a thing or two about the basics of public speaking. One important tip is to remember to focus on a single idea. Supporting ideas should be used, but all must contribute to the main idea. Another important tip is to make sure the speech is informative but clear. With carelessness, it is easy to clutter an otherwise good speech with unnecessary details. It is also a good idea to occasionally use humor to lighten up a speech. One should just remember that a conference is not a comedy bar.
Another thing that can be of immense help to a keynote speaker is research. One should know as much as possible about the company values, the nature of the conference, and the audience profile. A speaker could ask the organizers or look up the company and the event online as part of the research process. Once information is gathered, the speaker must use them to create a speech that is custom-built for the occasion. It will become easier to relate to the audience and persuade them, or at least put them in a more analytical mood.
As mentioned before, there are speakers which use rich media as part of their talks. Provided that the content of the speech is already taken care of, rich media can greatly enhance the impact of a keynote address. Using videos, music, or other presentation tools can make retain interest and convey ideas more clearly. It is important to remember though that using rich media requires technical preparations. Speakers should communicate properly with organizers in order to avoid any technicalities.
It is necessary for a speaker to practice numerous times days, even weeks before the event. Whether one decides to read from a written speech, to use cue cards, or to rely purely from memory, practice will help any speaker correct any mistakes and find ways to improve.
Finally, one should take into account the image that should be conveyed to the audience. It varies, depending on the formality of the event, but generally a strong and confident personality is desired. A speaker should wear appropriate proper attire. Words should be chosen carefully and gestures should be performed such that they complement the atmosphere of the conference.
A keynote speaker who takes enough time and effort to prepare properly will perform well. Such a person can expect to receive more invitations in the future.