Never let your Keynote Speaker end their Speech with ‘Questions’.
It always surprises me to hear a Speaker end their presentation with: ‘Are there any questions?’ For some reason, this has become a common practice in the industry. However, I believe it is one of the biggest mistakes made that can ultimately destroy what was a great Speech.
The goal of this article is to make sure you get the most from your investment in a Keynote Speaker by confirming that they will not end their presentation with ‘questions’.
Best Practice & Bad Practice.
There are best practices and bad practices in every industry. So just because something is common practice does not mean it is the right thing to do.
When we consider that creating clarity and energy are essential elements in producing an impactful Keynote Speech, it will become clear why speeches should never end with questions.
Discuss the following with your Keynote Speaker to confirming that they will not end with questions. (For additional insights briefing your Keynote Speaker see our article: Four questions to ask a Keynote Speaker before your book them.)
Reason 1: If there are No Questions, Energy is lost.
A Keynote Speaker has made a great speech, delivered great content, and generated positive energy. However, they end by asking, ‘Are there any questions?’ and... there are none. Only silence. An awkward silence. All energy has been lost. The momentum falls away. What was a great Keynote Speech has flopped.
Reason 2: If the Questions are not Relevant, Clarity is lost.
I believe that all questions can be relevant. And I can also say that there is no such thing as a bad question. However, the timing of the question is what makes it relevant.
For example, if a clarification question is asked at the end of a Speech the attention is focused on that issue. Which may not be the key message. Likewise, if a critique question is asked at the end of a Speech conflicting energy can be created.
The timing of the question is what makes it relevant.
How to End a Professional Keynote Speech.
Instead, of ending a Keynote Speech with questions, a Professional Keynote Speaker weaves in a moment towards the end of their speech for questions. After which they then conclude, summarise, or tell their final story.
Building in a moment for questions invites participation at the right time, in the right way. In this way, all questions can be asked. And then the Speaker can weave everything together again to create the clarity and energy need to produce impact.
A Professional Keynote Speaker never ends with, “Are there any questions?’’.
So the next time you are hiring a Keynote Speaker make sure you get the most from your investment in them by confirming that they will not end their speech with “Are there any questions?’’.
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