Speaking – it’s a beautiful yet underrated art that has seen countless conferences and business meetings meet its objectives.
An excellent keynote speaker is a powerful tool for any conference or meeting organizer. The speaker is able to use their unique platform (that is often external to the organisation) and their skill as a master communicator, to create and transfer the desired key messages of the conference to the audience.
But what is it that your audience most wants from your speakers?
We recently surveyed event and conference organisers and asked the question – what do you most from a speaker at your conference? The answers varied, but there were similar responses:
‘’Clear, relevant message. Must be engaging with lots of take-home value’’
‘’Engage the audience and be thought-provoking, delegates need to feel this was a high point of the conference’’
‘’Connection and emotional response from the guests’’
‘’Inspiring, motivating and can capture everyone’s attention’’
‘’ Engaging, understand what the event is trying to achieve’’
Most responses to this question mentioned one of two things:
1. Clarity – A Clear and Relevant Message
Like any well-told story – a great speech is one that is easy for the listener to understand. We’ve seen it before when the speaker can become too complex, too technical or go off on a tangent for a few minutes and the audience starts checking their phones.
A clear and simple message that addresses the organisers desired outcomes is vital for any successful speaker (download ‘5 Keys to Finding the Perfect Speaker’ to find out how to make sure you’re speaker delivers a clear and relevant message).
It’s an over-used word when it comes to describing a successful speaker – but this is critical for the speaker to master. Whether they use humour, dramatic video footage, an intimate tone or audience participation – they need to be able to tell their story really really well, otherwise, they’ll lose the audience in seconds.
It’s easier said than done, but a speaker with a clear and relevant message, that is able to successfully engage the audience will have a greater impact than any other element of your conference.
About the author: Keith Harwood is the founder of Inspire Speakers– an innovative speakers agency that gets its clients the perfect speaker for their event or conference.