Increasing the Value of your Event with the Best Keynote Speaker

Every keynote speaker’s material has a focus area: keynote speakers can specialize in anything from

  • global affairs
  • to team building
  • to sales
  • or even simply in positive thinking.

And, to be sure, somebody out there probably even specializes in negative thinking.

The most important answer to the question “what happens in the time in which the keynote speaker is up onstage?” — in other words, what can the keynote speaker do to enrich your event and perhaps even the trajectory of your company – is a more complicated issue. How can keynote speakers increase the value of your company, your conference or event, your company’s future; or do they even do this at all?

Let’s consult a couple of experts on this topic:

Dr. Nick Morgan, who is a coach for professional speakers, and Katrina Smith, who is a keynote speaker leader without peers and head of Keynote Speakers Inc. (an organization of professional speakers with an impressive lineup, including none other than Guy Kawasaki).

What’s the Purpose of a Keynote Speaker?

According to Nick Morgan, “the point of a keynote speaker is to change the minds of a group of people, to persuade them of something they hadn’t seen, known, or believed before.”

Likewise, according to Katrina Smith: If any company or industry association, any group of executives or individual department “needs to understand the need for meaningful change, or see how that change has affected someone in a real life situation, or hear from someone else why that change was so valuable and essential,” then a keynote speaker is an ideal medium for relaying this message. “We are social creatures, and while we can get information from books or websites, we get inspiration and social relevance and a sense of community from other humans.”

What can a Keynote Speaker Really Bring About?

According to Nick Morgan, “a keynote speaker is a temporary tribal leader who can move an audience to action.  A keynote speaker has the opportunity to take an audience on an intellectual and emotional journey that can propel an audience to a new place, position, or outlook.  People only take action because of other people, and a keynote speaker has a unique opportunity to do exactly that.”

An apt keynote speaker is able to make the most out of this situation by “asking for commitments from audiences, because speakers are uniquely positioned to get audiences to do something — thanks to the temporary authority they are granted by the occasion.”

And according to Katrina Smith a keynote speaker is able to move others by their own presence or by using content that may not have had an impact in a different context: “One keynote speaker can’t change the world. But one speaker, with the right message, the right tools, and the right delivery, can make an audience understand why their world needs to change, and then not only show them how to do it, but how to get inspired to do it well.”

What do You Think is Not Something that a Keynote Speaker Can Realistically Make Happen Onstage?

According to Nick Morgan,  “A keynote speech is not an effective means of creating detailed next steps, plans, or high-depth strategic ideas. An audience is too busy responding to a keynote speaker’s message to work on such details.”

And according to Katrina Smith, “it’s not realistic to expect that a speaker can come in for 45 minutes and fix a long-standing problem the company has been facing, a problem that perhaps the executives have been struggling for years to overcome.

It’s not [going to work as] a quick fix.  But it is a powerful delivery technique for new ideas, practical explanations, memorable examples, and inspiration about why the whole thing is important in the first place.”