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.