What is a keynote speaker and why should I hire one?

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneurs are their own.

One of the most common questions we all get asked is, “What do you do?” This question is one that many people use to start a conversation, get information from people, or just ask because it’s what people ask when they first meet.

When people ask me this question, I tell them that I give keynotes at conferences, and they usually give me a blank stare. So today I thought I’d share what keynote speakers do, why keynote speakers are important to events and their roles, because it’s more than just talking and sharing a funny story that makes people laugh.

The term “keynote” comes from the musical tradition of playing a note before a performance to set the pitch and tone of the rest of the music. As the name suggests, a keynote speaker is a speaker who delivers a keynote address at an event or conference. This is typically the keynote of the event, designed to set the tone, engage the audience, and provide the framework for the rest of the event.

Keynote speakers are often experts in their field and are chosen for their ability to deliver compelling, insightful and inspiring speeches that leave a lasting impression on their audience.

Related: 8 Top Tips for Getting Paid for Public Speaking

Why are speakers important?

Keynote speakers are important for several reasons. First, they deliver a clear and compelling message that sets the tone for the rest of the event. This is especially important for conferences or events with multiple speakers or sessions, as a keynote can help attendees understand the overall theme and goals of the event. Some of the most popular topics for keynote addresses include leadership, motivation, innovation, and personal development.

Second, keynote speakers are often experts in their field, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the event. This can be especially valuable for participants who want to learn more about a specific topic or area and do so in less time (typically keynotes last around 45 – 90 minutes). The best keynote speakers can motivate, relate and deliver tangible value to an audience.

Finally, keynote speakers are often skilled communicators who can engage and inspire their audience. This can help create a positive and energetic atmosphere at the event and make attendees feel motivated and inspired to take action.

Related to: How to adapt keynote presentations to short form videos

Why should companies invest in keynote speakers?

Hiring keynote speakers for your event has many benefits.

  • Set the tone. A keynote speaker can help set the tone for your event and provide a framework for the rest of the event. Do you have a theme? Do you have a central message you want to convey? Keynote speakers are skilled at connecting messages and motivation to specific topics that compel people to take action.
  • Engage the audience. Keynote speakers are skilled communicators who can engage and inspire their audience and can allow you as a leader to organize an event that people will be talking about for years.
  • Provide valuable insights. Keynote speakers are often experts in their field and can provide valuable insight and knowledge to attendees.
  • Create noise. If you have a bigger budget (some keynote speakers can command high fees, and some high-profile speakers charge upwards of $100,000 or more per speech), hiring a famous keynote speaker can help generate buzz and excitement for your event.

Leave lasting impressions. keynote speeches can leave a lasting impression on attendees, motivating them to take action or make changes in their personal or professional lives.

Related: Why are you afraid of public speaking and how to overcome it?

How do you hire your next keynote speaker?

Here are some things to consider when hiring your next keynote speaker…

  • Determine your budget. Before looking for a keynote speaker, it’s important to determine your budget. This will help you narrow down your options and ensure that you can afford the speaker you want.
  • Discover your needs. Consider the goals and objectives of your event, as well as the interests and needs of your audience. This will help you identify the type of speaker you need and the topics they should cover.
  • Research potential speakers. There are many resources to help you find potential keynote speakers, including speaker bureaus, online directories, and professional associations. Look for speakers who have expertise in your industry or topic area and have a track record of delivering engaging and inspiring talks.
  • Review speakers’ videos and materials. Once you’ve identified potential speakers, review their videos and other materials to understand their speaking style, personality, and experience.
  • Check out the links. Don’t be afraid to ask the speaker for references and follow up with previous clients to understand their experience working with the speaker.
  • Use an agency. There are hundreds of speaker bureaus whose job it is to help you find the right keynote speaker for your next event. Contacting them and their agents allows you to find the best keynote speaker on budget and time.

Keynote speakers are important because they can set the theme and tone of an event or conference. They are usually experts in their field and are invited to share their knowledge, insights and experience with the audience. Keynote speeches can be inspiring, informative, and thought-provoking, and they can motivate and engage attendees to participate more fully in the event.

In addition, a well-chosen keynote speaker can increase the profile and credibility of an event, attract more attendees, and generate buzz and media coverage. Overall, a compelling keynote speech can have a significant impact on the success of the event and leave a lasting impression on the audience.

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