Future of Keynotes: What are Adaptive Keynote Speakers & Why are they taking over the Industry?
The future of Keynote Speeches is defined by the same forces that are defining global business (hyper-connected, fluid, and high-speed). What was once business, as usual, has become business as unusual. So too with all aspects of professional speeches, including Keynote Speeches.
The future of Keynote Speeches work with more questions than answers, are more flexible than fixed, and are connected not isolated. Having this overview enables you to work with a Keynote Speaker to future proof your organisation.
The purpose of this article is to present a vision on the future of Keynote Speeches so you can work with the best one for your internal management event.
The Past & The Future
Traditional speeches, including Keynote Speeches, are largely about the Speaker; who they are, why they are successful, and how they succeed. While there are many exceptions, all too often a traditional speech has been more about ‘me’ (the Speaker) than ‘we’ (the audience).
The future of speeches, however, is not about the Speaker at all. Instead, it is only about how the Speaker can serve the audience. This is even more important for Keynote Speeches as they set the tone (the keynote) of the event. For a definition see our article: What is a Keynote Speech?
The paradox a Professional Keynote Speaker needs to manage is that, even though they are the focus of attention, they are the least important person in the room. This shift is parallel to the shift in leadership styles, where leadership today is less about the ‘egosystem’ of the leader and more about the ‘ecosystem’ of the organisation.
A Professional Keynote Speaker is the least important person in the room.
Questions not Answers
The first shift toward the future of Professional Keynote Speeches is the shift from providing answers to provoking questions. Because answers are static and questions are dynamic.
Once an answer is presented or found, often the dialogue stops. This is fine when we have tactics to deal with, however, when we are dealing with more complex strategies providing an answer may not be the right approach. Instead, working with the right question, provokes new ideas and opens new possibilities.
Professional Keynote Speakers, while they have many answers, are most effective when they are skilled in asking the right question.
Professional Keynote Speakers provoke questions.
Flexible not Fixed
The second shift toward the future of Professional Keynote Speeches is the shift from being fixed to being flexible. It is the difference between delivering a prepared presentation and being adaptive at the moment.
Instead of a prepared speech that is ‘delivered’, Professional Speakers have the ability to adapt at the moment to the response of the audience, the reaction to what is said, and atmosphere of the event. This is the difference between a presentation and a performance.
Professional Keynote Speakers are adaptive.
Connected not Isolated
The third shift toward the future of Professional Keynote Speeches is the shift from events in isolation to events in constellation. Too many events are planned in isolation. Instead, every event should be built on past events and point to the next event. For more on this see our article: The Number One Mistake Event Managers Still Make.
The ultimate goal of an internal management event is to take your team and organisation to the next level; to grow your business. And to do this you need to know where you have come from, where you are now, and where you are going next. So when you hire a Professional Keynote Speaker they will help you to understand your ongoing context. They will act as a catalyst and reinforce your ongoing process of organisation development.
Professional Keynote Speakers are catalysts.
In summary, the future of a Professional Keynote Speech is to provoke more questions than provide answers, is to be more flexible than fixed, and to be connected not isolated. A Professional Keynote Speaker who does this will be a catalyst in your process to future proof your organisation.
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.