Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking. About 77% of people have some form of glossophobia.
The ability to overcome that fear could open up many doors for you as an entrepreneur. You can get known as an expert in your industry.
The top public speakers also get paid very well to appear at industry conferences and share their unique insights on different topics.
These are often presented as keynote talks. Keynote speaking is where you can make the most impact as a public speaker.
What is keynote speaking and how can it make a difference in your business? Read on to learn what keynote speaking is and how to become a top keynote speaker in your industry.
What Is Keynote Speaking?
Keynote speaking is the delivery of a talk that sets the tone or theme of a conference. They are headliner talks, given by one person.
Keynote talks are usually given at the beginning and the end of a conference. The talks last between 45 and 60 minutes.
The goal of a keynote talk is to motivate, inspire, and educate the audience. The audience should come away with new information or insights about a given topic.
There are differences between an opening keynote and a closing keynote. The opening keynote gets everyone energized to have a great event.
The closing keynote is just as important. People always remember the end of an event more than the beginning and middle.
The audience has to come away feeling so good about the event, they’re going to return next year.
As a keynote speaker, you need to stand up on stage with enough energy to motivate hundreds or thousands of people. You might have to adapt to inspire and motivate a few dozen people.
Keynote speakers are thought-leaders, celebrities, or people well-known in an industry. Keynote speakers sell tickets and put people in seats.
That’s why top speakers get paid upwards of $200,000 a talk.
How to Become a Keynote Speaker
There are unknown keynote speakers that make more than $10,000 a talk. It seems like easy work for standing on stage for 45 minutes, doesn’t it?
The reality is that there is much more to being a keynote speaker than standing on stage. Like any business, keynote speaking requires work.
If you want to become a keynote speaker, you have to first establish a foundation. You don’t want to show up unprepared. That guarantees that you won’t get hired again.
The foundation starts with the purpose of giving keynotes. Do you want to become a thought leader in your industry? Do you want it to generate leads for your business?
You could want to become a full-time professional speaker.
Research Your Audiences
You already considered what keynote speaking can do for you. The best keynote speakers know that it’s really about what you can do for others.
Keynote speakers have two audiences to learn about. The first is the person who hires them. That could be an HR manager at a corporation or a conference meeting planner.
The second audience is the group of people sitting in the audience.
Keynote speakers have to appeal to both audiences. You probably have an idea as to what you want to talk about.
You have to research to find out who else gives a similar talk and decide how yours is unique. You also have to find out what hiring managers look for in keynote speakers.
When you research the actual audience, think about the takeaways for them. What will they learn? What will they feel? How can they apply what they learned in your talk?
This will give you more clarity as to the type of speaking you can do. You could decide to position yourself differently.
For instance, you may think to approach keynote speaking as a leadership speaker. You then found there’s an opportunity with motivational resilience keynote speaking.
Crafting Your Keynote Speech
Crafting the keynote speech seems like the easiest part of the job. It’s actually the hardest. Your talk has to connect with audiences in a way that’s relatable.
The audience should come away with actionable items that they can do on their own after the event.
Many keynote speakers start out thinking that they have an inspirational story or a ton of expertise to share. Unless you have an A-list name, not many people will care about your story or your experience.
That’s why crafting the keynote speech matters.
A great keynote speech, even by someone relatively unknown could lead to more talks. Meeting planners will hire you for other events and refer you to their colleagues.
Your talk should start off with a relatable story, then make an important point you want the audience to remember.
You should have a few major takeaways, followed by a relatable story or example. You can also use statistics to support your main point.
Keep in mind that people remember stories more than statistics. That’s why you see politicians share stories of their constituents rather than hit people with a ton of numbers.
Keynote Talk Menu
How many keynote talks do you need? Do you need to rewrite every talk that you give? The good news is that you can start off with one or two talks.
You don’t have to rewrite your talks each time, though you may need to make adjustments to suit the audience.
COVID changed the event industry. Events got canceled, speakers lost thousands in revenue, and the industry had to adapt.
Virtual events came to be in the world. They’re not going away anytime soon, either. About 94% of event organizers are planning virtual events in 2022.
You need to make it clear if your keynote is for in-person and/or virtual audiences.
Some speakers start out delivering workshops. They build up their credibility to get on the main stage. You could use this approach, but it will take a long time to become a keynote speaker.
Finding Keynote Speaking Opportunities
How do you go about finding speaking opportunities? It depends on who’s hiring you.
If you target corporations, you’ll need to connect with HR managers. LinkedIn is a great venue to reach those people.
If you target industry events, you’ll have to research events and see who the meeting planner is. There may be a selection process for keynote speakers.
Before you send an email telling people how fantastic you are, you need to build your marketing machine. Event planners and HR managers want to see a few things from speakers.
They’ll look at your website, clips of you speaking, and testimonials.
So, you’ll need to have these set up. Your website can be as simple as one page or you can have other services listed on the site as well.
The main things you want hiring managers to see are the talks you give and the takeaways for the audience.
You can create a few clips of you speaking to an audience. You may give a free talk and record it, or record a few clips on an empty stage and edit it accordingly.
The advantage of giving a free talk is that it allows you to collect testimonials from audience members.
Top Keynote Speaking Tips
As you build your speaking business, you’ll learn that there are a few things that set great speakers apart from everyone else.
Great speakers take the time to get to know who they’re talking to. They ask meeting planners and HR managers in advance about the audience.
They learn what their major concerns are and ask how they can address them during the talk.
One of the top keynote speaking tips is to write out your entire talk. You can’t go on stage and wing it. You’ll stumble with a ton of “umms” and “ahhhs” that will lose the audience.
Practice and internalize your talk. Practice how you inflect and deliver certain words. Ask yourself if there are phrases worth repeating.
Practice movements and gestures as you deliver your talk. Every detail of your talk should have a purpose.
Don’t Completely Rely on Technology
One mistake that keynote speakers make is that they rely too much on technology. This is common with novice speakers.
They start off by reading text from a slide deck. That’s something the audience can do on their own.
Besides, what would happen if you had technology issues and couldn’t show your slide deck? You’d struggle to give your speech.
Technology should complement your talk. It shouldn’t be a crutch because you didn’t practice and internalize your talk.
You should be able to deliver your talk 100% without technology. If it’s available, then you can have an even more powerful talk.
Be Prepared for Anything
Keynote speaking is a tough business. You’re really at the mercy of meeting planners and the flow of the event itself.
It’s not uncommon for meeting planners to cut your keynote from 45 minutes to 15 minutes if they’re running behind.
You might have to give a 30-minute talk or talk an hour later than planned. Be prepared for any eventuality.
Remember Your Real Job
The main thing that meeting planners look at is how you respond to these issues. If you complain or give the meeting planners a bad attitude, you won’t get hired again.
Your job is to make the meeting planner’s job as easy as possible.
There are keynote speakers who waltz in, give their talk, and waltz out the door.
You want to go out of your way to not just give a great talk, but to connect with attendees after the talk.
See yourself as a partner who assists the meeting planner. You’ll get hired again in no time. You’ll also develop a great reputation as a keynote speaker.
Show Your Appreciation
Go the extra mile and leave cards for everyone who helped you deliver an outstanding keynote talk. That includes the person who hired you, the sound and lighting engineers, and the people at the hotel if you’re traveling.
That’s a small gesture that has a huge impact on the people who hire you. They’ll remember you and think of you when it’s time to hire another speaker.
Always Look To Improve
If you want to get really good at keynote speaking, you have to think of yourself as a person mastering a craft.
You may never give a perfect talk.
Always look to improve your talks. As you speak more often, you’ll see which stories connect with clients and where you lose them.
You’ll see other speakers and learn from them. The more you try to improve yourself, the more it will appear in your talks.
There will be times when you completely bomb on stage. There might have been issues with your microphone, or you just didn’t connect with the audience.
That’s enough to rock your confidence. Don’t let it keep you from speaking again. Learn from those times and use them to get better.
Overcoming Fear of Public Speaking
As you learned earlier, the vast majority of people have some fear of public speaking.
What if you have anxiety and still have a message to share with people from the stage?
Each keynote speaker has their own method to overcome stage freight. Some speakers visualize a successful event, while others use meditation techniques.
The Ultimate Keynote Speaking Guide
What is keynote speaking? It’s a way to reach a broad audience with a carefully crafted message meant to inspire and motivate them.
You can use keynote speaking to your advantage to become a thought leader or build your business. It’s possible to launch a career as a full-time keynote speaker as well.
You just learned what it takes to become an outstanding keynote speaker. Use these keynote speaking tips to build your business and become a highly sought speaker.
For more tips to build your business, check out the home page of the blog today.