What is the Best TOPIC for a Keynote Speech?
You are organising an internal event and you want a Keynote Speaker to open your event and set the tone for everything that follows. So what should they speak about? What is the best Keynote Speech topic for your event?
The goal of this article is to give you five simple steps to follow so you can find the best Keynote Speech TOPIC for your internal event.
First Things First.
In the 1000’s of events I’ve participated in the first insight I want to offer on speech topics is: The topic of a speech is not the most important thing. This may sound unusual, however, in my experience, the impact of a great speech is not about what a Speaker says but about how they made the people feel. The topic of a speech is therefore only a framework to engage the audience in the uniqueness of your event. For more information see our article: The ABC of the Best Keynote Speech.
The topic of a speech is not the most important thing.
The Uniqueness of Your Event.
Every Keynote Speech should be tailor-made because every event is unique. The means that the topic of the Keynote Speech should be driven by your needs, not by someone’s speech topics. And in my experience, the best way to find the topic of the Keynote Speech is to discuss it with the Speaker; Design it together, you and the Speaker.
By following the formula below you start with the unique needs of your event and then engage the Keynote Speaker’s experience in the most optimal way so together you co-create the speech TOPIC:
1) The Theme of your event.
Most internal corporate events have a theme that can frame the topic of the Keynote Speech. The topic should enrich the theme.
What is the theme, question, or message of your event?
2) The Outcome of your event.
The topic of the Keynote Speech works to achieve the general outcome of your internal event by aligning & inspiring your audience. For example, an annual event is an opportunity to reflect and plan forward, a seasonal event is an opportunity to align strategy, agree on targets & improve actions, and an anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate, etc. For more information see our article: The Impact of a Keynote Speech.
What is the reason for your event?
What is the outcome you want to achieve with your event?
3) People attending your event.
The topic of a Keynote Speech changes depending on who your audience is, for example, a speech to the whole company has a more general language than a speech to the Marketing Department who has a specific language.
What are the people attending the event?
What is the ‘language’ they use in their day-to-day work?
4) The Industry your business is in.
The Keynote Speaker does not need to be from your business industry however it is essential that their speech topic reflects the language and the dynamics of the industry you are operating within.
Who are the current dynamics & trends in your industry?
Have you discussed these with the Keynote Speaker?
5) The Culture of your organisation.
The topic of the Keynote Speech must be related to the Vision & Culture of your organisation. This includes the specific stage of growth your organisation is in, your current strategy, and any internal models or frameworks you use. Content without the context of your organisation is meaningless. For more information see our article: Should a Keynote Speaker Sign a NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement)?
Have you considered how your event is aligned with your Vision & Culture?
Have you discussed this with the Keynote Speaker?
Together these elements help you manage the risk area of the speech topic by following the TOPIC formula:
Theme + Outcome + People + Industry + Culture + Keynote Speaker’s experience.
The goal of this article is to give you five simple steps to follow so you can find the best Keynote Speech TOPIC for your internal event. Note that none of these elements is about the Speakers preferred topics instead, they are all driven by the uniqueness of your event. The reason I have designed this formula is for you to find the TOPIC of your event and to make sure that it is driven by your needs and not the speakers needs. Following this formula, you start with the unique needs of your event and engage the Keynote Speaker’s experience in the most optimal way.
For more insights on how to choose the best TOPIC for a Keynote Speech, and a detailed report on how to align a Keynote Speaker with your Vision & Strategy, download Risk Report on hiring a Keynote Speaker for your corporate event below.