The difference between being a successful keynote speaker and one who just wasted his or her time talking for several minutes is the amount of change one can induce with his or her speech. From marketing sales to boosting employee morale, an effective keynote speaker can either motivate hundreds of listeners in the audience or disillusion them with time wasted spent in listening to an ineffective speech. But worry not; the latter can be avoided with proper research to gain proper knowledge and of course, proper style and execution.
Public speaking is a form of art. Think of it as a performance on par with a classical music concerto or with a pop idol singing before a crowd of millions. Like all art forms, it rests of two major elements: content and communication. Knowing your content means knowing your topic. It means having an objective in mind as well as informing your audience. The communication element is how you get attain that objective. Simply speaking, how you get that topic across. It is not always as easy as it looks, especially on a crowd of skeptics or disenchanted audiences. Even the best of messages requires the most perfect executions.
Luckily, we can take advantage of at least one scientific field: psychology. As a keynote speaker, an insight into the human condition and into the human mind will be most advantageous in plotting your course in making that change-inducing, inspirational execution of speech. Here are a few concepts one can take advantage of or at least keep in mind when speaking in public.
1. Use associations.
This idea stems from the fact that we learn by associating or pairing things together such as paycheck means salary or a shady stranger means you have to be cautious. It is the same principle marketers use when they ask a famous movie star to advertise a brand of clothing or when they ask famous chefs to recommend food products. The positive association with one element such as a famous chef or a movie star can be transferred to the product or idea being advertised. With this in mind, a keynote speaker can research on what does his audience like or what motivates them and use it as an anchor point for building a rapport with your audience
2. Take advantage of social roles.
Our position in the society affects our behavior more than we think. A policeman will act more like a policeman at work because of his environment and the label of the role that is given into him. With this in mind, remember that you are the keynote speaker. You are perceived as someone with authority or at least with the ability to motivate. When you are introduced as a very important guest and you walk into that stage, bear in mind the power your role commands. Use it to your advantage.
3. Appeal to both their emotions and their logic.
This is a way around skepticism or possible rejection of ideas. When introducing an idea or attempting to induce action or motivate, you first establish a rapport by appealing to the things they like. Whether it is baseball or salary increase, mention certain keywords in a light-hearted manner with humors in between. Then, as you establish that relationship, you begin inserting your ideas while justifying it. Your audience will be more receptive to the things you have to say or the ideas you’re trying to build if you establish this kind of connection first. Do not openly challenge their beliefs up front as this will induce an antagonistic stance on their side. Instead, your case slowly, associating it with positive thoughts or something they will find more acceptable.