Does your Annual Internal Management Event need a Keynote Speech or a Normal Speech?
So you are organising an Internal Event: it is your Annual Event where the whole organisation is gathered together, it is a Quarterly Event, a Leadership Event, a Departmental Event, or perhaps it is a Unique Event (the launch of a new project, a merger, etc). In all cases, you are gathering together your co-workers to review & plan, inspire & align. And you are asking: do I need a Keynote Speech or a ‘normal’ Speech for my event?
The answer is quite simple: at the beginning of every event, you need to set the right tone (the right ‘keynote’) for everything that follows. This is the role of a Keynote Speech. You can play this role yourself or you can hire a Professional Keynote Speaker. However, this can not be achieved with a normal Speech.
The purpose of this article is to highlight the need to set the right tone at the beginning of an event so you set yourself up for success. You can do this yourself, or you can hire a Professional Keynote Speaker, however, this can not be done with a normal Speech.
First things first.
Every event needs to be opened and initiated with the right tone: the right ‘Keynote’. The importance of getting the Keynote* right is essential as it determines everything else that follows. (See our article: What is a Keynote Speech?)
* The term ‘Keynote’ comes from the world of Music and refers to the note that is played to determine the 'key' in which a song is performed. Similarly, a Keynote Speech sets the tone of your event. It establishes the framework for everything that follows. It sets the underlying theme, the most important revelation, and the core messages that everything else in your event follows.
How you open your event greatly influences the rest of your event. It can be considered the most important moment of your event.
The opening is the most important moment of your event.
The Opening Speech.
Not every Speaker can open an event. Indeed, most Speakers should not be the Opening Speaker, or the Keynote Speaker, at your event. Most Speakers should be booked to speak during your event.
Most Speakers deliver Speeches, not Keynote Speeches. So they are best to be planned into the body of your programme. There they can best perform and deliver their content.
Most Speakers should not be the Keynote Speaker at your event.
Keynote Speeches, therefore, are not the same as a Normal Speech. There is a specific outcome and mentality needed for a successful Keynote Speech. Because the outcome of a Keynote Speaker is to set the tone of your event, not just to share content, they must be to make your event first priority. This means they must be able to put themselves, and their content, second. Not every Speaker can do this.
So, every Keynote Speaker can speak but not every Speaker can give a Keynote Speech. (See our article: What is the Real Purpose of a Keynote Speech?)
D.I.Y. or a Professional
So we have clarified every event needs an opening and it is essential to get it right. We have also clarified that there is a difference between a Keynote Speech and a normal Speech. And that most Speakers are not Keynote Speakers, instead they perform best when they are booked to speak during your event.
So, who then should open your event? The answer is: 1) you do it (or someone from your organisation), or 2) you hire a Professional Keynote Speaker.
If take the D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) approach remember that your goal is to set the right tone, not necessarily to give a ‘Speech’. Keep it simple. Remind people why they are here, what has happened, and what is going to happen. Be open and honest. And be yourself.
Alternatively, you can hire a Professional Keynote Speaker. There are many benefits in doing so, including:
- they are professionals so they make your job easier & reduce risk
- they offer an external perspective (you can’t be kind in own country)
- they reinforce, refine, & enrich your message (they say what you have always said in a new way so people see what they have always seen, in a new light)
(See our article: Why do I need a Keynote Speech at my corporate event?)
A Professional Keynote Speaker makes your job easier & reduces risk.
So at your next internal event remember that there is a difference between a Keynote Speech and a normal Speech. And because most Speakers are not Keynote Speakers, they will perform best when you book them to speak during your event. So to open your event either do it yourself or reduce your risk by booking a Professional Keynote Speaker. Every event needs to be opened and it is essential that you get it right.
For more information on how to choose the perfect Keynote Speaker & Speech for your internal management (corporate) event download The Keynote Speaker BEST FIT Checklist.