To help you avoid falling into oblivion, here are seven facts that might help you become an effective keynote speaker.
1. Writing and delivering a speech are two different things.
Not all good speech writers can deliver a speech effectively while not all good keynote speakers can write their own speech clearly. There are gifted speakers, like Stephen Covey and Dr. Wayne Dyer, who can write a 300-page book about motivation but still be able to deliver that into a 10-minute speech. If you cannot do what they do, that does not make you less of a keynote speaker.
Continue to develop your writing skills; but in the meantime, have a professional speech writer write your piece with the main ideas coming from you of course.
2. Not all event organizers know who their audiences are.
You are commissioned to deliver a keynote speech but when you called the organizer to inquire about the expected audience, they couldn’t give you an answer. That is normal.
Some events happen for the money or publicity without genuine concern for their audience. However, that is not your concern. Your concern is to deliver a good speech whether you know who your audiences are or not. Be diligent and take the initiative to profile possible attendees based on the venue, nearby communities and theme.
3. Blue is the color that catches the attention of an audience the most.
The color blue creates an impression that the one wearing it is credible, authoritative and smart. No wonder why many keynote speakers wear it.
Orange is another color that quickly grabs attention, but it is not exactly a popular choice for professional speakers as it looks less formal.
4. Three out of four people have speech anxiety.
Wait for a more surprising fact: Public speakers are not necessarily exempted.
Even the most experienced keynote speaker gets anxious sometimes, like whenever he sees his audience slowly drifting away to boredom. This also happens when you face an audience that you are not too familiar with. That is also normal.
Just be yourself. Plan some ways to redeem yourself and regain your audience’s attention like adding some jokes, anecdotes, activities, etc. Adding a variety in your speech will also help you calm down.
5. An audience looking at you does not always imply that he is listening.
There is no time to be complacent. If you see that everybody steadily looks at you as you speak, some of them are probably just too nice to show any disrespect. One secret to becoming an effective keynote speaker is by delivering a speech like you are always trying to win the audience. Be consistent without trying to impress.
6. Most people hate it when you call someone from the audience.
You should know better that being a keynote speaker in front of a crowd is not an easy thing. If you feel anxious sometimes, what more for someone who is no way prepared to be the center of attention. A person from the audience will stand up or ask a question at the right time if he feels like talking with the spotlight on him.
Unexpected pointing or calling is as horrifying for some people as a panel job interview.
7. No one really cares that much when you make a mistake on stage.
Stop being a paranoid. People who listen to you intently do not really notice your mistakes unless they are something serious like racial remarks and contradicting statements. Grammatical errors, forgotten words and unintentional pauses do not really make a difference in your speech. Instead of wallowing over nonsense matters, why not just focus on your delivery?