So, you’ve decided that you want to become a keynote speaker – congratulations! It can be an absolutely interesting thing to dedicate to. It’s a reality that we can’t avoid: in any professional and personal field, public talking is always a tool to communicate information about any project or objective, because it allows you to better take advantage of your opportunities to reach and impact on any kind of auditorium. That is why it’s said that this is a key quality.
Being a good keynote speaker requires planning, clarity of thought, and a well-structured speech from beginning to end. It’s important to avoid creating confusion or leaving your listeners feeling that they lost their time. Follow these steps and make yourself a professional, step by step.
Find yourself and know your purpose
The first thing to do is find a niche in which you find yourself. There’s no point in trying to know about everything and talking to absolutely anyone. But on the other side, in case you decided to be a keynote speaker, you will need to increase the level of your knowledge on topics that you’ve chosen. Also, it’s not the point in being too thorough either. The audience’s expecting you to act as your name says – to highlight some key points and explain them.
The best possible option is to try to find the topic you know the most about in every subject and use it to make your speech. And, when you work on yourself and expand your knowledge, it’ll be recognized and you’ll be able to discuss more topics as you’ll become an expert for them. For example, Danny Mekic is one of the rather successful keynote speakers who dedicated himself to helping many organizations through renovations, innovative solutions and many other factors. Knowing his job and knowing a lot about the topics he has chosen, he converted himself into a rising star in the entrepreneur sky.
The second part is to sit and define some things. For example, why do you want to do this job? What’s the exciting thing about all this? In order to be a great speaker, it’s necessary to be passionate about things you do, or you talk about and also motivated to transfer you know to other people. This means that you need to like doing it and that you should think about the reasons why you love it and define them. It’s not always about the money – you’ll find a bunch of less complex jobs that you can do for money, so don’t think that it should be the only reason why you take up this.
Focus on your audience needs
Here, the thing is simple. You need to listen to your audience’s voice, to their needs, and let them share their doubts, points,or any questions they have that might create some kind of a new idea for new content. It’s good to maybe write down the things you hear from that in order to be able to create some related texts or performances in the future.
Feel the heartbeat of the people who are sitting in front of you. Have they just laughed so hard at that witty remark you’ve made? What caused the reaction? Does it seem that they have any barriers that should be worked out? Do they look like something wasn’t clear enough? These are all the things you need to observe.
One more fundamental thing: the best speeches and talks are those that lead the audience to some kind of action. That’s why the best ones take their subject to practical levels so that anyone can apply something immediately. Always remember to take your talks and presentations to practical levels. People need to do something after they hear you. That “something” they do will make your speech memorable. Maybe it will help if you show up a bit earlier in order to talk to your spectators and show them that you care about giving them a helping hand to understand some things.
Practice speaking in front of the others
In case you decided to take up this job, you should get used to standing in a room full of people, where everyone’s listening to you and watching every step you make. The most important part is actually creating a person that you’ll be satisfied with and then teach the others through that person. Learn from others or make yourself believe that you’re a lawyer who’s speaking in court or a stand-up comedian who has its own performance and needs to make his content captivating to other people in the room. So, just practice. It doesn’t matter if you practice in front of your friends, family or anyone else, just make sure you relax and feel comfortable while doing it, step by step.
You can also try recording yourself and listening, in order to notice if you’re doing anything wrong, take notes about it and correct what you think is odd or not good enough. Another great option is actually observing other speakers as they’re doing it. Taking notes is also crucial here as you’ll be able to write down things you liked, things you would change and some ideas, in case you get some while watching. But what matters the most is observing the reaction of the audience. Are they bored? Do they have any response to the speaker? That’s the best feedback you could get.
Take care of your non-verbal language
Nonverbal language (gestures, dress, movements, hand position, etc.) is as important as what is said in a presentation. Good speakers understand how to function on the stage maximizing communication via nonverbal language. Do you want to inspire trust and honesty? Keep your hands out of your pockets and open with palms pointing at the audience. Do you want them to focus on your face? Dress in a neutral and dark color. Do you want to keep the audience attentive? Pause and change the volume of the voice at different times.
It’s crucial to make a proper appearance. Yes, we do have a lovely soul and that’s great, but it won’t change much as today everything is measured by appearance and the way you look and act. Choose some fin clothes that will flatter your look – maybe you can even make some kind of recognizable style. Make sure to get some shoes that will be comfortable and that you can walk normally in them, so if you’re not really a heels fan, that’s fine. What seems to be the most significant here – you should look professional.
Start working on your marketing
Well, this might be the hardest part of everything – actually getting a job. It’s a great idea to possess video recordings of your previous performance in order to try to make a decent portfolio. This way you’ll have some material to show to your future employers. Note all the projects that you’ve participated in and constantly update your CV.
Another thing: don’t spam. No one will decide to hire you after you’ve stuffed their inbox with hundreds of messages and emails. This isn’t the way to do it nor it will lead you to the place you’re heading to. It takes time to build something from your talent and it needs a lot of patience and hard work – make sure you know what it takes and put some effort to achieve it.