Public speaking is one of those things most people fear, after death. As much as they may look like they got it all together and are very confident, even experienced public speakers tend to get a little nervous before going on stage to give their motivational speech.
In public speaking, there is always the fear of the unknown. There are a ton of things running through your head when you get in front of a crowd. All eyes are on you and you start wondering if you are ready, if you did enough research, if your audience will like you, and roughly a billion other questions.
To be a keynote speaker that everyone looks forward to hearing, takes a lot of practice and effort. On that note, below are some of the things that you should know as a keynote speaker. They will help you be the best your profession has to offer.
- Do not pigeonhole yourself
Almost all speakers will start their journey by giving motivational talks revolving around one topic; that is until they have perfected it.
As your public speaking career advances, you will get more and more feedback from people about your talks. Listen. Some audiences will listen to you and pinpoint other areas that you could very well excel at. Consider expanding your area of expertise as this gives you a competitive advantage. Do not limit yourself to one topic.
- Have a content strategy based around your topic
If you are a good speaker, you will make a significant impact on people the first time you speak to them. When you are invited for the second time, expectations will be higher and you will need to be creative to avoid redundancy. You will need to come up with a content strategy that works around your speech topics.
This allows you to have more content to speak on during talks. If you do this, you will be the first person clients call when they need services you can offer. The impact you create will make you book more gigs as you come highly recommended.
- Know that it takes time
When we venture into anything, be it business or any other thing like pursuing our dreams, we often think we will do great.
The same applies to public speaking. I remember six years ago when I was establishing myself as a keynote speaker, I was confident in my speeches and I believed in myself. Unfortunately, not everyone shared my beliefs.
You may think you are great but in reality, you are not. The idea is to ask for honest opinions from people you love and accept constructive criticism as this is what makes you a better speaker. Also, upgrade your content, improve on your delivery and the audience will love you.
- Connect with audiences
This should happen before and after the speech. Interacting with your audiences before your speech provides you with additional valuable information you could add to your speech.
If you are a speaker who uses bold language and lets some provocative words fly, it is time to gauge your audience’s level of humor.
Audiences will also respond well to you once they see you made the effort to connect with them personally. This also gives out the vibe that you care about actually helping them
- Allow for audience participation
A good keynote speaker is one that allows audience to participate in the talks. Take audience participation to the next level by asking your listeners to repeat various keywords from your speech.
Additionally, you could stop in the middle of your speech to ask the audience to throw in a few examples that relate to the subject at hand. This not only gets audience to interact but is crucial in ensuring they remember the talk long after you are gone.