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Organizing a conference or annual dinner event on behalf of your business is always tricky. There are a whole host of different things to consider.

Unfortunately, so many people underestimate the power of bringing in a professional keynote speaker, and the whole event suffers as a result. Anyone who has hosted a large-scale conference, dinner event or awards ceremony, will know that the people you select to speak are your bread and butter. Keynote speakers are essential to hosting a business conference.

Having a personality that can carry themselves confidently on a stage while simultaneously communicating a message to a captivated audience is a rare skill. It also an overwhelmingly underappreciated asset. Anybody can speak at an event but, very few people can do it well. If you have ever had to present to a broad audience, you will know exactly how difficult it can be.

A good keynote speaker is the backbone of your event and will inevitably set the tone for the entire conference. The message they bring is the one that will stick in the audience’s minds and will be the impression that they leave with.

What is a Keynote Speaker?

Perhaps the continuous misconception that keynote speakers don’t play an integral part in the outcome of a conference or event comes from the idea that they cost a fortune to speak waffle for 40 minutes or so.

A good professional Keynote Speaker is somebody who can motivate, inspire, encourage, entertain and influence an audience. They will come with a pre-set agenda, typically agreed upon with the host, and will proceed to communicate this message in a way that those listening to can resonate with.

Keynote Speakers should be able to compact the entire message and purpose of your conference into one message. They reinforce the ideas you are presenting with a persuasive passion that subtly convinces those listening to believe in the same cause.

The difference between an experienced keynote speaker and someone reasonably new to the stage is not only the presence they carry but, the resourcefulness and knowledge in their area of chosen expertise. Audiences are very good at sniffing out when someone isn’t completely authentic and doesn’t completely believe the points that they are making. If you opt for an inexperienced speaker, they will stand out a mile away. 

Why do you need one?

A keynote speaker can move entire groups of people who may have previously been inactive to action. Every time a Keynote Speaker take the stage, they see it as an opportunity to take their listeners on an emotional journey that can allow them to see things from a different perspective.

Maybe you have a vision for your company that is yet to be shared by others, perhaps you have been struggling to overcome some hurdles and a simple change in outlook from others is all you need to take things to the next step. To have a significant impact in these areas a Keynote Speaker is your best bet.

Even something as simple as boosting the motivation of your team at a staff event can be achieved easily by a Keynote Speaker.

Since the rise of viral videos and influential media, many have seen this as an opportunity to feature short films at their events. These are undoubtedly influential, but it is a mistake to think that they can replace the appeal of a physical display of emotion. Technology is a fantastic tool that you should make use of but, it’s best used to support a speaker rather than to replace them.

How to Choose a Keynote Speaker

Once you have decided on having a speaker at your event, it’s essential that you have a strategy and don’t just pick the most prominent name. Think about the reason you decided to run the event in the first place.

Are you looking to inspire or impress your guests? Is there a theme to your event? What kind of clientele are you entertaining? These are all things you need to be thinking about.

YouTube is your friend. It might not sound particularly professional but, it’s the best way to get a good idea of what a speaker is passionate about and how they present themselves. For example, someone like Iron Maiden Lead Singer and Keynote Speaker, Bruce Dickinson, is perfect for high-caliber business conferences. He is not only respected because of who he is, but Bruce can drive home hard-hitting points about business strategy with a sense of humor.

Although if you were hosting an event that revolved around charity work in Africa, it might be better to find someone more educated in that particular area. You need to provide a speaker that meets the expectations of the audience. This is something you should never compromise on.

Finally, make sure you are getting a return on investment. If you expect the result of the event to provide an influx of sales or donations, then don’t be afraid to invest in a stronger speaker. If, however, you simply want to entertain and motivate, it is wiser to be more limited with your budget.