There’s speaking, public speaking and then delivering a keynote address! If you have been invited to deliver a keynote address, well congratulations, but if you are fretting how to pack a punch, relax, we got you covered.
Keynote talks of Steve Jobs and speeches of Barack Obama are not just easy to understand and fun to watch but they are a global benchmark in communicating complex message in a way millions can understand. While they have mastered it over years, regular people like us who’s busy pushing paper in our desks experience borderline nervous breakdown when asked to address a gathering.
So, the first step is to have a mental preparation, set realistic goals and most importantly to stop comparing ourselves to politicians and Fortune company CEOs.
While a welcome note is delivered by the organizer of the event to cheer and prep the audience and thank all the stakeholders, a keynote has much higher significance. Delivering keynote means shouldering the responsibility of setting the theme for rest of the event. Keynote should have synopsis of what’s happening in the subject area of this conference, why is it being held, what’s the expected outcome and who are.
Here’s some suggestion to make a better keynote presentation
Talk at work vs guest talks
First and foremost, if you are addressing a keynote for your company, or for an event organized by your employer, then the context of the talk must be completely based on facts and figure relevant to your organization, you may even want to run it with your corporate communication and legal team to ensure you are not giving out any confidential information.
Use data to tell story
Keynotes range from 20 minutes to 45 minutes, some events pay the speaker while many are pro bono, either way, if you are invited to deliver a keynote, it is best to use data, statistics and numbers to set a context. Be cautious as to not ‘dump data’ on the audience with too many chart and graphs, no one is interested in it nor can they grasp such volume of information in few minutes.
Image Credit: nerdist.com
Connect with audience before the event
No matter what you have prepared as your talk, it may be best to go early to the event and interact with a few audiences to understand their expectations and then try to address those points in your talk. This way, more people will relate to your keynote.
Cheer for other speakers
As a keynote speaker, you can consider to call out other speaker who’ll be on stage and also highlight what to expect from their sessions as well.
Image Credit: events.google.com
Balance between your opinion and that of the event
A keynote address is not a soapbox stand to express your opinions nor a TED talk to express your ideas, keynote is about emphasizing the importance and significance of the event that invited you in the first place. As a rule, sticking to the theme of the event and stating facts and anecdotes on that subject is a better idea.
While all the suggestions can be read and dozen more YouTube be watched, it is prudent to practice your talk in front of a mirror to be sure!