Being invited as a keynote speaker for the first time can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. To help you in this important undertaking, here are the basic rules that keynote speakers must follow whenever they have a conference to attend to:
• Do study the night before :
As a keynote speaker, you should always come prepared. Even if you are already an expert in the topic you are going to give a lecture on, it is still a must that you study the night before. Your attendees will be listening intently to whatever you have to say, so you have to make sure that all that you say is well-researched and relevant to the theme of the conference.
Also, it is a must that you practice beforehand. Try the classic technique of speaking in front of the mirror so that you know what you look like while delivering your speech. You should appear confident about the subject matter. Delivering the speech well also means that you are able to speak without stuttering or making unnecessary pauses. By practicing the night before, you will be able to remove, or at the least minimize, these unwanted mannerisms or behavior.
• Do not be late :
As the keynote speaker, your presence is very important to the conference. But this does not mean that you have the right to arrive late. Respect the schedule given to you. You are a professional and that means you should not be tardy. The attendees are also professionals and you would not want to waste their time by arriving late. Always be considerate. If the lecture is scheduled at 9 in the morning, try to be at the venue at least half an hour before. By arriving earlier, you will avoid being late and at the same time, you can get accustomed and comfortable to the lecture hall and to the people.
• Do not rely on your materials alone :
A common mistake that some keynote speakers commit is that they heavily rely on their materials. When you give out a speech in front of a huge crowd, it is necessary that you have supplemental materials such as a presentation slide or a booklet of your lecture. This is necessary so that the attendees can easily follow your speech. However, this does not mean that you should simply let the crowd read. They attended the conference because they would want to gain some insights from you. They would want to learn things that they would not find in slides or booklets. As a keynote speaker, you should not let your materials speak for you. Let the materials be solely supplementary. Your speech and your presence should be the highlight of the lecture.
• Do tell anecdotes :
There are some instances when a part of a lecture can get boring. This is very normal in all speaking engagements, especially if the topic is very technical. As a keynote speaker, you should accept this reality and instead of ignoring it, you should do something about it. A good speaker knows how to entertain the crowd without steering away from the topic. He does this by adding anecdotes within his lecture. Whenever you feel like the speech is getting too dragging or at some point, become less interesting, feel free to share some anecdotes. By adding this, you will be able to relate better with the crowd.
• Do entertain questions :
After you have delivered your speech, the common practice is that people are given the chance to ask you questions. You should always accommodate the queries. Try to answer as much as possible. By answering the questions, you are giving the attendees the chance to interact with you. And of course, by entertaining their inquiries, you may even learn or gain some information and insights from them as well.
Be sure to follow these rules so that your speeches would be synonymous with success.
As a keynote speaker, you should always come prepared. Read this page to know the Do’s and Don’ts of a Keynote speaker