The Art & Zen of Keynote Speaker Speeches
Here’s what every proficient keynote speaker needs to know.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Even with the best experience and most fascinating content in the world, it’s not enough to catalogue your thoughts and expertise on paper and present them out loud to an audience. Keynote speakers that stand the test of time and are invited to speak time and again, know that a good speech or presentation is articulated like a great novel, with an opening that immediately grabs and intrigues the audience, rising action and exciting content in the middle that keeps them engaged and engrossed throughout the material, and a remarkable ending that satisfies and concludes the needs of the audience – leaving the door open to discussion, comments and further reflection.
Keynote Speaker Ideas:
Speakers work on their craft of preparing engrossing and informative content by weaving together the various parts of content, with easy-to-follow transitions that lead their audience through the story (speech) and get them excited and incited about change, progression and improvement in their own personal and/or professional lives.
Starting with an exciting and engaging introduction, the skillful keynote speaker avoids gimmicks – the last thing you want to do is lose your audience with ill-timed humor or unattainable expectations. Keynote speakers that are well-practiced in the art of Zen of presentation, immediately engage their audience, often beginning with an anecdote, an inspiring quote that applies to the topic of discussion, or a thought-provoking question that gives the audience a reason to pay attention and ponder.
The idea of the keynote speaker’s talk is the middle. This part is for sharing facts, and relevant information on your thesis or main subject of the session – further illuminating the audience. For the keynote speaker, keeping the audience readily connected during the middle part of the story, may pose somewhat of a challenge. Instead of a speech cluttered with facts, figures or fluff, this is the time to use relevant stories and potent anecdotes that will reinforce the audience’s interest and present relevant material and new ideas. Keep things simple and engaging during the middle of the speech, and you’ve got an eager audience that can’t wait to hear the rousing conclusion!
Keynote speakers are often thrilled to hit the conclusion or ending part of their speech. Why? Simply put, this is the part of the speech that ought to leave the audience intensely inspired and fully satisfied. You want your message to remain ringing in the ears of your listeners! If the keynote speaker makes the conclusion memorable and powerful – tying the conclusion back to the question or anecdote from the beginning, you’ve got yourself a well-rounded presentation, peppered with useful content and expertise that will keep your audience ruminating the session for a long time to come. That’s really the goal of a proficient keynote speaker. You don’t want your audience to merely “listen in” on what you have to say. The goal rather, is to engage the audience so richly, that even when the intent is to simply instruct, you instead inspire and initiate long-term results.
At the foundation of every great keynote speaker session or speech is persuasion and entertainment. We want the audience to have a good time, sure. But essentially the audience must learn. The idea of a perfect keynote speech is that they must be able to walk away with powerful ideas and tangible techniques.
Keynote speakers actively strive for measurable results from communicating with their audiences. The best thing that any keynote speaker can do to meet their audience’s expectations: Remember that it’s critical to engage the listeners and take them on a journey throughout the speech. We’re not here to just entertain. We’re here to provide valuable information and teachings, sprinkled with some good humor and one hell of a great story.
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