What are the Different Types of Keynote Speakers?
While there is a wide variety of Keynote Speakers, they usually fit into one of the following categories that I call The Three P’s of Keynote Speakers: Popular, Position, & Professional. Each has their qualities and by understanding their differences it allows you to make better decisions on who to hire for your internal event.
The goal of this article is to give you a frame to help you decide on what type of Keynote Speaker you want to hire for your internal management event.
In this category of Keynote Speakers are celebrities, either with public fame or industry fame. They will certainly attract a crowd. Everyone wants to meet a star. This category includes a wide range of levels from A-list Hollywood Star to the latest Management book Bestsellers.
While there are obvious exceptions, it is important to note however that you are paying for their fame more than their ability to speak. I have seen a best- selling author fail radically by reading their speech; a great author perhaps but certainly not a great speaker. Alternatively, I have had the honour of meeting Al Pacino, A-list star, backstage at an event in LA and not only was he a true gentleman he also went on stage a give the crowd an outstanding experience.
If choosing a Popular Speaker to speak at your event make sure you are aware of their ability to speak, not just attract a crowd.
Speakers are Popular, hold a Position, or are Professionals.
In this category of Keynote Speakers are Founders, CEO’s, CFO’s, and CMO’s, or other key figures, from large or very successful organisations. This category also includes formal positions in Government or the Military, and also Doctors and Scientific experts.
The challenge with this category is that they are specialists and experts in what they do, not necessarily what you do. At one event where I was the Keynote Speaker recently, there was a CEO from a very successful digital company who talked about what had made him successful in the Social Media space. He not only used a language that was alien for most of the audience, a group of Bankers, he also told them what they must do. In other words, he made no effort to consider the audience, their understanding of Social Media, and he made no effort to translate his learning into their context.
If choosing a Positional Speaker to speak at your event make sure they are able to transfer what has worked for them to what would work for you and your organisation.
In this category of Keynote Speakers people whose business, craft, and profession is speaking. Speaking is not something they do to sell you their product from the stage, nor are they speaking on behalf of an organisation. For these speakers, their product is the speech. They master the craft of speaking, audience engagement & comprehension, storytelling, and group dynamics. They also have many topics they can speak on. A Professional Speaker will work with you to maximise your event and they will always tailor their content towards your organisation. For more information on this type of speaker see our article: How to choose the best Keynote Speaker & speech for your internal management event.
By understanding the difference between Popular, Positional, and Professional Speakers you now have a frame to help you decide on what type of Keynote Speaker you want to hire for your internal management event. In each of these categories, as you can already imagine, there is a wide range of possible speaking fees; from Pro Bono (free) to €250,000+.
So if you are interested in a breakdown of Keynote Speaker fees download Guide on how much does a Keynote Speaker cost below.