I earn my living as a keynote speaker but …

I have attended, facilitated or been employed as a keynote speaker at hundreds of conferences over the years.

And sometimes I wonder why do leaders and conference organisers employ keynote speakers.

Here are some of the pros:

– It can provide a highlight of a conference or leadership away-day

– A good keynote speaker can provide a break from what is often a boring experience.

– An external speaker can often inspire and motive

– And provide a fresh perspective

– Sometimes a speaker can raise difficult political issues

But here are some of the cons (of using a keynote speaker)

– They are expensive

– Some speakers are frustrated performers and think the entire conference is about them.

– They can be off message or present a talk which does not suit the audience.

– Sometime the speakers are motivating but once the presentation is finished they do not leave the delegates with anything practical or something they can use on monday morning.

Here’s a final thought.

Why not design the conference in a way so that from start to finish it is memorable and engaging rather than leaving it all to the keynote speaker.

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