How To Give A Great Keynote: Multiple Speaking Intelligences Part Two

By Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP - International Business Speaker

The keynote is one of the most important presentations an aspiring or experienced leader can give.

A keynote is between 20 and 90 minutes in duration but it may also be shorter. For example, a school principal giving an address at a school assembly may only speak for three to five minutes and I would consider this a keynote. A pastor or a priest giving a weekly Sunday morning sermon would also be considered a keynote.

So keynotes are really important for visibility and credibility.

Many people from a lecturing, training or teaching background deliver a keynote as though they are giving a training or teaching session.

This application is seriously flawed because the message and methodology does not match the modality.

Keynotes are one of the nine multiple speaking intelligences every leader needs to have.

The other eight speaking intelligences are after-dinner, acceptance, thankyou, panellist, training, chair, MC and facilitator.

I differentiate between these nine different intelligences by using 13 criteria.

So what are the 13 criteria which can be used to plan, research and deliver a knockout keynote?

Use these 13 criteria to design and deliver your next outstanding keynote presentation:

1. Starting Point

The starting point for a keynote speech is the structure. Audiences crave structure and a clear structure is the most important element of a great keynote and a critical starting point.

2. Focus

As a keynote, the delivery of your presentation should be the main focus for your personal energy.

3. Means

How should you best plan and structure a keynote? You should always come back to the key question: what is the one big idea that will change lives?

Don't get caught in the content trap by having too much content. Always be aware of message overload.

4. Style

You must fully engage your audience at an emotive level to really get people to listen.

5. Interaction

Audience interaction in a keynote speech will maximise the impact of your message and keeps the audience interested.

It helps overcome rapid thinking and preoccupation. It could be as simple as posing a rhetorical question.

6. Preparation

In a keynote, you are the expert on the topic you are speaking on, so it is important you have done a high degree of preparation and research.

7. Entertainment

If you want your keynote to be memorable, you must make sure it has high entertainment value. This is achievable with virtually any subject.

8. Content and Expertise

To ensure your message is understood by all, key messages should be universal and endearing in their nature.

9. Scripting

Just as preparation for a keynote speech should be high, so too should the scripting of the speech.

Every word should be carefully crafted and scripted.

10. Rehearsal

High levels of rehearsing are required to avoid looking unprepared or lacking knowledge on the topic you are presenting. Remember as a keynote speaker, you are the expert and you need to know your content really, really well.

Most presenters don't know their content well enough, are ill-prepared and do not rehearse on stage and therefore rely on PowerPoint slides as speech notes.

This is a big mistake and leads to the dreaded disease Death by PowerPoint.

11. Narrative

Keynotes are often high in their use of narrative. Doing this helps the audience relate to what you are saying. You must contain personal stories to connect at an emotional level.

It is the personal stories and not the facts that most people remember with a keynote.

12. Ends

An attitude shift is your ultimate goal when presenting a keynote speech. By presenting your view on the topic, you want to achieve a shift in the audience's attitude.

It is not about skills transfer which is suited to training.

13. Summary Questions

In reviewing your keynote speech, you should ask: ‘what difference did it make?' Did you achieve your goal of evoking an attitudinal shift in the audience?

Want to learn more about giving Powerful & Persuasive speeches? Come to our workshop Powerful & Persuasive Speech Writing on October the 23th at The W.A. Club. Book now.

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