Delivering the perfect keynote speech requires an engaging topic and market-leading knowledge. When done properly, such presentations can be extremely rewarding for corporate audiences and professional speakers alike, as keynote addresses explore the valuable topics that are shaping life as we know it.
Some of the most successful keynote speakers around know to keep their presentations simple, yet highly informative. Things can go wrong when you stray off track, colloquially known as “waffling”, so it is important to stay true to the specific topic being discussed.
Here at the Champions Speakers agency, we have an abundance of expert keynote speakers who specialise in a range of subjects, making them ideal for events of all shapes and sizes. Our speakers are some of the best in the circuit, therefore, we know more than most the qualities of a perfect keynote speech.
Learn how to give a keynote speech, in our comprehensive guide below.
EXPLORE A SPECIFIC TOPIC
The beauty of a keynote speech, and the defining trait that separates them from other forms of public speaking, is their industry knowledge. Giving a keynote speech requires world-leading expertise and an infectious passion for your specific topic, so make sure your content fills such an informative purpose.
Popular Keynote Speaking Topics for 2021:
A Post-COVID World
The Future of Work
Managing Mental Health
Starting Your Business
To decide the best topic for your speech, first reflect on your unique expertise. Indicated by your professional experiences or current industry, your keynote topic should fill a gap in the market, answer an age-old question, or outline the future. Consider the theme and purpose of your event, as well as your specialism, then deliver your speech accordingly.
LEARN FROM THE BEST
Scott McArthur’s keynote speaking style compliments his chosen topics perfectly. Professional yet welcoming and comedic, his audience cannot get enough of Scott’s authenticity. What sets him apart, is the connection he builds with his audience, through interactive questions and relatable anecdotes. Scott does not feel like a formal keynote speaker, he feels like a friend who genuinely cares about the personal development of his audience.
Samantha Clarke’s direct keynote speeches command her audience’s attention from the very first sentence. She gets down on her audience’s level and discusses the common issues that face the everyday person; for example, the shared goal of achieving your dream job. An event featuring Samantha leaves a profound impact on guests, as her infusion of famous quotes and visual metaphors captivate her audience’s imagination.
Caleb Harper’s graphs, images, and product demonstrations connect with many different types of learners. His interactive keynote speeches make a lasting impression on guests, redefining their assumptions of food production, nutrition, and agriculture with enlightening data. By combining mainstream media, like related scenes from film and television, with his expert insight, Caleb’s keynote speeches are truly unforgettable.
DON’T PANIC IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG
It is rare for a keynote speaker to go their entire career without something going wrong during one of their talks. Whether it be technical difficulties, a heckling audience or simply losing your train of thought, it is important to remain calm and carry on.
How to Recover from A Mistake During A Speech:
Prepare for any eventuality, with our easy three-step guide to covering mistakes.
Step One – Acknowledge
A simple “oops”, “wrong slide!” or “excuse me”, is enough to acknowledge that you have made a mistake. Being transparent will stop your audience from feeling uncomfortable and ensure that the hiccup is not brought up again following the event.
Step Two – Correct
Instantly correct the mistake. Try not to linger on an explanation, and instead use your actions to show guests how the speech should have gone. Choose the right slide, correct your pronunciation, or skip to the next point as smoothly as possible.
Step Three – Move On
Finally, move on. Understand that mistakes are a natural part of our professional lives – in fact, a speech without fault can lack authenticity, and feel ingenuine. Your audience expects to see a human, not a robot, so carry on as if nothing happened.
The worst thing to do in these scenarios is overthink the situation, as this could result in a domino effect which would be detrimental to your entire speech. So, no matter what happens; stay calm, laugh it off, and carry on. Your audience are more likely to remember how impactful your speech was than your minor mistake.
STICK TO A TIME LIMIT
While it can be easy to go off on a tangent as a keynote speaker, especially when talking about something that you are passionate about, there will often be multiple speakers presenting at an event, so you must stick to your allotted time limit. Prepare your research, structure your speech, and time yourself practicing prior to the conference, to ensure that you keep your keynote address concise.
Our quickfire questions below answer all your burning queries on keynote speaking!
How long should a keynote speech be?
According to keynote speaker Paul Hughes, the optimum length of a keynote speech is between 20 and 60 minutes. Anything below 20 minutes is unlikely to leave an impact, whereas talking for over an hour may leave your audience disinterested, and you mentally exhausted. As a rule of thumb, aim for 45 minutes of solid, engaging discussion.
What should be included in a keynote speech?
Though a keynote speech is essentially one-sided – you speak, your audience listens – Q&As are a great way to invite your audience into the experience. Planned for the end of the speech, they allow guests to query any points made that they may not have understood, making for an even more informative experience.
How do I engage my audience?
Your audience will learn in different ways; some may engage by listening, while others require a visual presentation. Keep all guests captivated by varying your forms of communication and include both visual and auditory cues, as well as opportunities for the audience to interact with the speech.
Even the most fascinating of topics can become tiresome for audiences if the speech goes on for too long. To avoid bored guests, keep the content snappy and your energy upbeat, to command their attention.
GIVE IT A BEGINNING, MIDDLE & END
There is nothing worse than thinking “what’s the point?” when listening to a keynote speaker. So, as well as making your topic interesting to listen to, their needs to be a coherent beginning, middle and end which audiences can easily follow.
”Waffling” on for too long, or on a point that does not apply to your topic, can make your speech sound disjointed. A way to combat this, is to practices and rehearse as much as possible, to perfect your performance. Present your talk to friends and family so you can receive some honest, constructive feedback, then make any improvements applicable. Your keynote speech should be a third or fourth draft, not an on-the-spot presentation.
BOOK A KEYNOTE SPEAKER
To book a top keynote speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by filling in our online contact form or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.
Organising an online event or webinar? Our online keynote speakers are the perfect addition to any digital occasion!