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To put it simply, a keynote speaker is a person who establishes an underlying theme for their talk. In the case of a corporate setup, they focus more on the delivery of the keynote speech.
Generally, the role of a keynote speaker is similar to that of a convention moderator and flags up an idea – such as a literary story, an event, or an individual musical piece.
How to select a speaker for a mental health event
A common question that arises is how to hire speaker for a mental health event. Selecting a keynote speaker who is well-known for their area of expertise, or who is quite popular among the crowd due to their accomplishments would probably raise the enthusiasm level among the prospective attendees.
A keynote speaker can work independently, or be represented by a speakers bureau, or can from crowdsourcing.
Characteristics of an event speaker
A keynote speaker entirely differs from a motivational speaker. A keynote speaker should have the ability capture the essence of the entire meeting session and must be able to highlight it to the audience in a short span of time.
To capture the actual essence of the meeting, the keynote speaker must be willing to spend some quality time researching the industry, its issues, and, of course, the target audience. Once this research is done, the keynote speaker can mould the presentation into a unique, attractive, and distinctive moment to gain the attention of the audience.
The keynote speaker may use humour, or audience participation (say an interactive session), show funny clips, or may even sing to maintain a good connection with the audience. Keynote speakers are often selected to make an event more interactive and interesting, such as at a conference, or a large corporate meeting.
What makes an exceptional speaker?
The basic trait for an exceptional keynote speaker is they are comfortable with themselves, and this trait comes across only if they have enough credibility. Outstanding keynote speakers understand the tension that exists whenever someone takes the stage. This can be diffused by creating a good rapport with the audience or sharing a sense of connectedness with the audience.
Best keynote speakers are the one who listens and interacts, during the session or post-speech session. Some of the basic and important traits of a keynote speaker include:
- Have a thorough grasp the of the overall purpose of the event
- Knows how to maintain focus
- Knows when to minimise the use of props
- Can personalise the theme of the event with real-life stories
- Know the value of entertainment – can use humour to maintain connectedness with the audience
- Understands the value of pacing in a talk
- Knows how to simplify the keynote message into a simple and attractive call-to-action
An important fact to be remembered is that an exceptional keynote speaker will leave their audience with proven methods that can be incorporated into their personal or business lives. The easiest way to leave a personalised message is to leave the target audience with 2–3 questions that they have to answer to themselves. This will create a lasting effecting on them.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.
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