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Becoming a Keynote Speaker: Four Speaking Tips

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Keynote speakers must keep their audience interested

Keynote speakers must use strategies that will keep the audience interested and engaged.

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Well Being and Peak Human Performance.

We’ve all had to endure keynote speaker talks that have bored us to tears the topic isn’t the problem; rather it is the speaker and their style that completely fails to engage us. They drone on and on, but seem completely self-obsessed and unable to get the audience engaged. If you have a big talk coming up, consider these four techniques to ensure that you have a memorable delivery.


When you are working out what you want to say, it is very important to put yourself in the shoes of the audience. Whom are you talking to? What sort of things will they respond to? Taking the time to consider your audience will enable you to tailor your speech to them, and so you will be able to structure your talk in such a way that will enable them to engage with you.

Visual Aids

No matter how good the speaker is, there will come a time in every talk where people are in danger of switching off; there is a limit to how long a person can listen to somebody speaking before they will get distracted. As the keynote speaker you need to control the situation by giving them a distraction. A PowerPoint display or flipchart is ideal. It allows you to give your audience something to look at that is relevant to your talk, so even when they are in danger of drifting, you are still getting your message across.


It is not always appropriate to make your audience laugh; the subject may not lend itself to humor. However, a well-placed joke will ensure that your audience is with you throughout the talk. Making your audience chuckle will relax the mood of the audience and will ensure that they are far more receptive to your message.


All too often, a person will turn up to give a talk without having practiced their speech. The result is almost always catastrophic; jokes failing, speech and visual aids out of sync and a failure to capture the attention of the audience. Make sure that you take the time to try out your speech on others (e.g. family members) to iron out any problems that may arise.

Follow these tips and you will soon find yourself in demand keynote speaker.

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Author and speaker on work-life balance, productivity and wellbeing
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