How To Become A Keynote Speaker

Written by on April 9, 2013 in Career - No comments | Print this page

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how-to-become-a-keynote-speakerBeing a keynote speaker can be a lucrative career for those who excel at it.

It can also provide a nice side career or hobby for people who are good at it.

So what is a keynote speaker, what are the qualifications, and how can one become a keynote speaker? Here is what you need to know:

What a keynote speaker does

A keynote speaker sets the tone of a convention, meeting, or gathering for a company or an organization. It is often the marquee speaker for the event , although at big conventions or meetings, there may also be other big names speaking at the event.

For example, New Jersey governor Chris Christie was the keynote speaker at the 2012 Republican National Convention, but Clint Eastwood was an even bigger name who spoke at the convention.

Basically, the idea of a keynote speaker is somebody who sets the tone for the event. The term keynote speaker comes from the music term “keynote,” in which an a capella group, such as a barber shop quartet , plays a note that determines the key that the music the group will sing in.


That is kind of the idea of a keynote speaker. So it is important to have a good tone – Christie in the aforementioned convention would have been more of a memorable speaker than Eastwood was if Christie had given a great speak to set the tone of the event.

Instead, critics say that Christie gave a rambling speech that talked more about himself than about Mitt Romney, the presidential nominee.

What qualities a keynote speaker should have

It is not enough to have interesting things to see that people want to hear, and to be a knowledgeable person, although both of those things are obviously important. But a keynote speaker needs to be a good speaker. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it?

But if you have ever had the misfortune to sit through at terrible keynote speech, you will know that this is not always the case. Unfortunately, there are keynote speakers who drone on, show no sense of humor, and who are hard to listen to.

How to train as a keynote speaker

It is important to be knowledgeable, be a great speaker, and to have important things to talk about. In addition, being an expert at something can help increase the chances of getting hired as a keynote speaker. Having an engaging style, and the ability to talk on a variety of topics, can also help keep you gainfully employed.

But if you just want to hire a keynote speaker, click here to learn more.

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Lisa Swan writes on a variety of topics for sites like Avant-Guide.

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