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What Is a Keynote Speaker? A Quick Guide

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What Is a Keynote Speaker

What Is a Keynote Speaker

Did you know that around 77% of people have anxiety about public speaking? Fortunately, the rest of the population seems to thrive on standing up and captivating an audience with their words. A great public speaker can help transform a conference or event into a memorable experience.

Hiring a keynote speaker, in particular, is a great way to attract more attendees to your event as well. But what is a keynote speaker exactly and what role do they play in an event? Keep reading to find out so you can make the best choice for your event.

What Is a Keynote Speaker?

Simply put, a keynote speaker is an expert in their field, able to talk extensively about a particular industry or topic. They’ll be the person who helps set the tone of a conference or event. In most cases, keynote speakers are usually considered the “headliner” of an event and are a way to get attendees excited about your conference.

Business keynote speakers, in particular, are responsible for delivering a professional yet engaging speech that’s relevant to conference attendees.

The Responsibilities of a Keynote Speaker

If you’re hosting a multi-day event, then you’ll typically want to hire a different keynote speaker for each day. Or, you might even have two keynote speakers, one to open the day and one to close it.

The opening keynote speaker is responsible for engaging the audience right away and setting the tone for the day. Unlike a motivational speaker, who might tell an inspiring, yet ultimately unrelated story, a keynote speaker should give a talk that’s contextually relevant to the purpose of the event.

A closing keynote speaker is responsible for keeping attendees engaged through the end of the event, so they aren’t tempted to leave early. They should use their talk as an opportunity to set the tone for how people will remember the event and what messages they’ll take home with them.

How to Find the Right Keynote Speaker

Now, knowing the important role a keynote speaker plays, how do you find the right one for your event? Here are a few keynote speaker tips for hiring.

Ask Around

Reach out to those in your network for recommendations of great speakers in your industry. Getting opinions from someone whose opinion you respect is one of the best ways to get started.

Search Online

You can also do an online search for speakers in your industry that are available for events. Remember, the more specific your search query, the more likely you’ll find relevant results. It’s also a good idea to watch online speeches from different candidates to give you a better idea of what their style is like and if it matches what you’re looking for.

The Right Keynote Speaker Can Make All the Difference

Now that you know how to answer the question, “what is a keynote speaker?” you should have a better idea of how to find the right person to headline your event. As a result, your attendees will be more engaged and get more out of your conference.

Want to read more business-focused content while you plan your event? Check out our other articles today.

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