Without any doubt, the biggest mistake when choosing a Keynote Speaker is to choose them based on their topic. What the speaker is going to talk about, their topic is not the most important thing. Yet, the most common way of choosing a Keynote Speaker for an internal management event still remains to be on the content of their speech.
What a Keynote Speaker says is not important, how they say it is. The best content if deceived in the wrong way is bad content. Instead, it is the qualities of the Keynote Speaker that will make or break their impact on your event.
The goal of this article is to help you overcome the biggest mistake when choosing a Keynote Speaker for your internal event by focusing on the Speaker’s qualities, rather than on the content of their speech.
What is a Keynote Speech?
When choosing a Keynote Speaker for your internal management event the first thing to realise is that it is all about you, and not the Speaker, nor their ideas. A Keynote Speaker speaks at the beginning of your event to set the tone for everything that follows. For more insights on this check out our article: What is a Keynote Speech / Speaker?
A Keynote Speaker must have the skills to research your industry, interview you, and empathise with your audience. To do this requires something more important than just a speech topic, it requires certain qualities: an empathic personality, holistic perspective, & flexible behaviour.
A Keynote Speaker speaks at the beginning of your event to set the tone for everything that follows.
A Keynote Speaker must be empathic to be able to resonate with you and your audience. Without empathy, a speaker would talk ‘at’ the audience instead of ‘with’ the audience. This not only creates dis-alignment, but it also alienates the audience from each other, from the speaker, and from the opportunities the speaker is talking about.
To prevent any problems of a Speaker not connecting with your organisation make sure they have empathy, it is the foundational quality which all others are built upon.
Empathy is the essential quality of a Keynote Speaker.
A Keynote Speaker must also be holistic in their content. Whatever they are talking about, they must be able to relate it to the Vision & Culture of your organisation. And they must be able to do with from the perspective of the specific stage of growth your organisation is in.
All specialised content needs to be placed within a wider frame of reference and to your organisational context to make it relevant for you.
Content without the context of your organisation is meaningless.
A Keynote Speaker must be flexible. They must be able to adapt to any possible changes in the program before the event and to the reaction of the audience at the moment. All events are upgraded when the Speaker is able to respond live to the reactions of the audience.
A Professional Keynote Speaker responds live to the reactions of the audience.
An empathic Speaker aligns your organisation, a holistic Speaker inspires your teams, and a flexible Speaker makes your event work. So before you choose a Keynote Speaker for your internal event, start by focusing on the Speaker’s qualities, rather than on the content of their speech.
If you want a full description of its benefits before you download this Checklist, check out the Guide to finding the right Keynote Speaker for your corporate event page and you will see all the reasons why.