How to Rock Out as a Keynote Speaker: Part 1

I know many talented entrepreneurs and career professionals that are on top of their game day in and day out. They succeed in leading others, building their organizations and reaching new heights.

No challenge seems too large and a certain air of confidence emanates from these particular go-getters. That is until…

…they have been asked to be a keynote speaker at a conference.

Confidence Killer

I find that for most success-driven folk that are on their way up that proverbial ladder of success, the one thing that has the power to sap away a degree of their seemingly endless supply of inner fortitude and confidence is the thought of standing in front of industry peers and delivering a keynote talk. 

This task is what often reveals insecurities for a lot of these people.

Now, if this is you, or could be you in the not so distant future, let’s cut to the chase. There are definitive things you can do to regain control and rock out in this sphere of your professional life (just as you do in every other area).

That is the focus today friends. I am going to run down the basics as far as ensuring you and your keynote are aligned for success.   

How to rock out as a keynote speaker: TIP 1

First off, you need to know what propels you to be the very best version of yourself. It is essential to have a handle on this.

If you understand your own personal drivers relating to values and beliefs that you strongly align with, you will find your measure of grit and follow through to be at a much higher level.

If that is true, then your degree of “stick-with-it-ness” will allow you to respond to other challenges and demands that are required to deliver killer keynote addresses.

Examples to Add Clarity

Let’s say that one of your core values that you stand for is empowerment.

In leveraging that ideal, you can begin to draw inspiration and find ways in which your keynote will deliver some degree of empowerment to others.

Perhaps your message will allow other people/companies to boost their abilities to achieve XYZ.

Imagine that another value of yours is adventure. Again, you want to use this deep-seated attraction to this concept to your advantage. Maybe that means you reframe this whole keynote into one big adventure for yourself and your audience.

Sure it will be filled with challenge and potential difficulty, but it will also offer plenty of excitement, fun, and reward by the end.

Getting in touch with who you are as a person can do wonders when those ideas are paired with your keynote presentations.   

What Most People Do

If you rationalize the only reason to prepare for your keynote is fear of failure or embarrassment, you may find yourself motivated to put in the time however you may also find your nerves to become even worse. The reason naturally has to do with the fact that you are doing nothing to proactively handle such disempowering thoughts. 

The big takeaway

Using fear as a motivator is not optimal during the content creation process. Nor is that sense of worry and self-doubt helpful on the day of your keynote.

You want ways to reframe your emotions in such a way that they lead to outlooks that empower you to succeed in the lead-up and all the way through to the actual execution of your talk.

If you want more info on this concept, you are in luck as I have a whole post dedicated to it here! Not to mention, I created a handy-dandy action guide that will help you easily decipher and uncover your own passion values. 


How to rock out as a keynote speaker: TIP 2

Just as knowing what you stand for is a foundational element of attaining keynote speaker success, so is being able to manage your anxieties associated with your big talk.

Having all the skill and or inner desire to succeed will do little if anxiety-ridden emotions reign unchecked.

Not so fun fact:

Speaking insecurities are felt by most.

Statistics indicate this. Seventy-five percent of people feel varying degrees of speech anxiety according to the Mental Health Institute.  

Reasons for this are abundant and to name a few they range from fear of failure, embarrassment, perceived competency or lack thereof and past experiences.

The point is that this fear can often get in the way and prevent keynote speakers from achieving their desired level of achievement that they are used to hitting in different parts of their professional lives.

The good news is that there are solutions. In fact, there are a tonne of workarounds!

Even better news (enter my shameless plug), I have a FREE e-book + Mystery Bonus resource ready and waiting for those looking to address their presentation nerves.

Grabbing this book and resource will introduce over twenty proven anxiety busting techniques that’ll free you up from the debilitating effects that presentation anxiety may be wreaking on you and your chance of keynote speaker success!

Snag it here and now!    

Panic to Presence Book


How to rock out as a keynote speaker: TIP 3

In leveraging your personal drivers and having a robust strategy for handling your nerves, the next essential element to keynote success is having a system for creating great content.

Unfortunately, the speech preparation process people most people employ isn’t too far removed from the one taught in elementary school and practiced right on through at secondary and tertiary levels:

  1. Decide your topic/main idea
  2. Think of a few supporting ideas
  3. Begin writing
  4. Rehearse
  5. Present

Many professionals continue to rely on this utterly basic style of preparation. Unfortunately, that reliance delivers utterly basic results.

Most keynote speakers appreciate this fact in that they know that they need to up their game and enhance that process. However many don’t know how or where to begin. As a result, they fall back on the basics and continue to rely on a flawed system of creating their content.

This is a problem I have witnessed countless times.

Some of the biggest pitfalls with this elementary approach are incomplete ideas being used, logic-impaired arguments being presented and missed opportunities to deliver true value to audiences.

A pro keynote speaker understands this and follows a process that adheres to a higher standard.

To give further insight, a killer keynote content development process usually looks something more like this:

  1.     Knowing your internal drivers
  2.     Audience Analysis
  3.     Brainstorming ideas
  4.     Organizing the ideas
  5.     Deciding how to compile and structure the content
  6.     Find support data
  7.     Analyze and evaluate your ideas
  8.     Pre-writing thoughts
  9.     Decide between scripting vs outlining
  10. Writing
  11. Editing and organizing
  12. Consider visuals and or other support
  13. Rehearse
  14. Seek feedback/Edit/Rehearse
  15. Present 

Such a system ensures that ideas are built on a solid foundation and will be primed for others to latch onto.

A keynote speaker that is able to succeed will have found a system that is commensurate with the level of importance laid on the talk.

Final thoughts

Exceeding audience expectations during keynote addresses is not always the easiest thing to do. There are several factors that will affect whether or not this goal is achieved.

However, before your content has any chance of resonating with others, you need to ensure that as a speaker you are fully fueled and driven.

Additionally, being able to manage the inevitable anxiety that accompanies this process is another key.

Finally, having a process for your idea formulation right on through to execution which is held to a higher standard cannot be overlooked as far as being another critical element.

In the next post, we’ll tack on a few more essential elements that you will want to ensure that you address before stepping onto the stage and delivering your version of keynote presentation success!

I would love to hear how you make out! You can reach out by finding and following us on these platforms:

Twitter ⇒     @passion__fp

LinkedIn ⇒ Christopher Schoenwald