How To Give A Keynote That Will Be Remembered

Keynotes are special and we all want to be remembered
Keynotes are special and we all want to be remembered

Image Credit:
Ignite New Zealand

In the world of public speaking, being asked to deliver a keynote speech is sorta the best that we can all hope to do. A keynote speech reflects the importance of public speaking and is the one speech that everyone attended the meeting to hear. If you are asked to give this speech, then you are very much like a rock star for this event. This is a great position to be in, but with it also comes a lot of responsibility – you’ve got to do a good job. Just exactly how does one go about delivering a keynote speech that will be remembered?

It’s All About The Message

If you want to give a successful keynote speech, then you are going to have to make some decisions regarding what you want to talk about. Generally speaking, a keynote should not be the first time that you’ve talked about a given topic. Instead, this should be the topic that you are already known for talking about. If you do a good job with your keynote, then there is a good chance that you will become known for this topic.

In order for your keynote to be effective, you are going to have to find a way to get your message to stick in the heads of your audience. One effective way to go about doing this is to create what is called in the industry a “phrase that pays.” This is a short statement (roughly 3-7 words) that you use at the beginning of your keynote and then add it in different places throughout your speech. What you are going to want this phrase to do for you is to provide your audience with a summary of what you’ve told them and a clear call to action.

You’ve Got To Build The Perfect Speech

Having a phrase that pays is a good first step, but now you need to create an entire keynote in which to place it. We face a big challenge when we are giving a keynote speech. We need to really know our stuff – generally this means that we’ve practiced our speech a number of times. However, we also want to be dynamic and adapt our speech to the day that we’re giving it and the audience that we’re giving it to.

What this means for you is that you’re going to have to divide your speech up. The first part of your speech is going to have to be its core, the part that you can practice to your heart’s content. This ~60% of your speech will remain the same no matter how many times you give the speech. Then there is the other 40% of your speech that you can customize for the specific event where you’ll be speaking and the specific audience that you’ll be speaking to.

The Best Style Is Your Style

The content of our keynote is, of course, very important. However, it turns out that how we actually go about delivering the speech matters also. This means that you are going to have to have a style that will allow your audience to remember what you said. All too often speakers discover a speaker that they like and then attempt to copy their style. You are not them and this never works out well.

Instead, you want to realize that you are you and your natural style is what you are going to want to present to your audience. Part of your presentation needs to be you telling stories to your audience. You can’t just tell entertaining stories that have no point, instead you need to tell stories that have rich content that your audience is going to be able to use in their lives. Do this in an original way and your audience will remember you long after your keynote is over.

What All Of This Means For You

Being asked to give a keynote speech is a great complement for any speaker. A keynote speech is the one that everyone in your audience came to hear and so there is a lot of pressure on you to get this one right in order to deliver the benefits of public speaking. You are going to have figure out how to give a speech that your audience will be able to remember long after you are done.

The key to creating a memorable keynote speech is to realize that it’s all about the message. This means that you need to have a good understanding of your topic and you need to take the time to create a “phrase that pays”. When you create your keynote speech you’ll want to make it a combination of material that you use every time you give this speech and new material that you’ve created just for this one time. Finally, the style that you’ll want to use to deliver your speech needs to be your own personal style – don’t try to copy anyone else’s style.

Your reputation as a public speaker can be determined by the quality of the keynote speech that you give. This speech is just like any other speech that you’ve given: you need to research your topic, craft an effective speech, and then practice how you want to give it. Take the time to create a keynote speech that will be remembered and then you’ll become the keynote speaker that everyone comes looking for!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: When you are giving a keynote speech, how long do you think the speech should be?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

When we are asked to give a speech, we generally put a lot of time and effort into doing the best job that we can because we understand the importance of public speaking. We’ll create a speech that we think that our audience would like to hear. We’ll practice it until we think that we have it just right. And finally, we’ll get up in front of our audience and do our best job of giving a good delivery so that we can share the benefits of public speaking. However, is it possible that we’re missing something here? Shouldn’t our focus really be on what the impact of our speech is going to be? What’s the outcome of your next speech going to be?