5 Essentials of Finding a Great Conference Speaker
Public speaking is dreaded by many. As Jerry Seinfeld once said, he’d prefer to be lying in the casket than doing the eulogy. It’s hard because it leaves us vulnerable. One’s personal image is being put at stake during a speaking performance. Now, whether you want to improve as a keynoter yourself, or wish to be able to invite better speakers to your events, this post is for you. Read on for five essential elements of a great conference speech.
May I have your attention, please?
Thank you. Now, I realize watching all these videos will require a chunk of your precious time, so is it even worth it? Heck yeah!
The videos right here will help you better understand how to deliver a good speech, what elements are important to captivate the audience, and also what you should probably avoid.
Let’s see what these are.
Speaking to be heard with Julian Treasure
When speaking at a business conference, you have to come off particularly well, as you may be addressing potential business partners. In other words, you literally may be pitching to your future clients.
The video focuses on the human voice, which is a powerful instrument. Despite the fact nearly everyone has a voice, a lot of people feel like others just don’t listen to them when they speak.
With that in mind, how can you speak in a powerful manner? How do you compel your audience to listen to you? Treasure goes on to discuss seven habits you need to drop in order to be able to deliver your best speech ever.
The presentation then takes a philosophical turn, focusing on how every one of us can change our environment for the better through proper mindset and wording – our voice gives us the power to change the world. Watch till the end for a look at all the nuances of using your voice and a great closeout.
The takeaway: SPEAKING KNOW-HOW
Barack Obama’s farewell speech
What this video teaches us about giving great speeches is that it’s always good to be able to speak at your hometown in front of a friendly audience.
Obama opens up with a series of questions for the audience, culminating in a little joke. He then moves on to a call for continued hard work, motivating the crowd for the future, trying to paint it in bright colors. The former president also shows he’s a family man, which is a value held in great regard by all Americans.
If you’re an event planner, consider bringing in a renowned local to give a speech at your show for a guaranteed good reception.
The takeaway: SETTING MATTERS
Kevin Durant 2013-14 Most Valuable Player speech
The thing I hate the most about listening to professional athletes is that they universally keep saying just the right things almost to the point they lose all value. You could mix and match players’ answers and you wouldn’t be able to tell who said what.
This speech right here doesn’t differ all that much in this regard, and that’s fine, it’s expected to be like this. Durant briefly discusses his road from a D.C. suburb to NBA stardom. He reveals how he kept pushing forward despite many doubters and obstacles. Obviously, he praises his teammates, some of his close friends, and his mom, whom he called “the real MVP” – a statement so big, it got turned into a meme.
What’s unusual about Durant’s speech is how emotional he got. His voice broke down a couple of times and he shed some tears. The award reception has been called one of the most memorable ever. Rarely will you see a star of this caliber break down emotionally like this in any sport.
The takeaway: EMOTIONS ARE CRUCIAL
Elon Musk 2017 SpaceX speech
Elon Musk – the embodiment of inspiration and optimistic outlook on the future. These traits should be enough for anyone wanting to be heard, but he turns it up a notch with the subject matter of his presentation.
The projects he works on are so captivating, it’s hard not to listen closely. Huge ideas for human expansion into space, something we’ve been fantasizing about forever as a species, help him win public support.
Musk doesn’t come off as a particularly great speaker, with little stutters here and there, however, the topic of his presentation is enough to make people pay attention whenever he speaks, and that’s not an easy task when you’re talking tech.
The takeaway: THE IMPORTANCE OF TOPIC
Mark Zuckerberg at F8 2017
Ah, the now-infamous Zucc. Hate him or love him, he’s been an extremely successful entrepreneur, and there’s no denying that. As you can see in this video though, business success doesn’t automatically translate into being an amazing speaker.
What puts me off the most about his presentation is the awkward Fast and Furious 8 cross promotion. Zuckerberg seemed like he just wanted to get it over with. Add in a couple of forced jokes, and you get a not so great a speech.
A lot of platitudes were thrown around. The introduction of Facebook’s 10-year plan and the attempt to sell it as something good, something that users genuinely want, felt a little weird.
The takeaway: CERTAIN THINGS ARE TO BE AVOIDED
Funny moments with Gregg Popovich
To close things out, I have included something a little different. The video is a mix of interview and postgame highlights by the one and only coach Popovich.
To someone unfamiliar with who he is, Pop may seem rude or unprofessional with all the snappy one-liner replies he often gives. The thing is he’s far from it. The San Antonio Spurs coach is one of the best the game has ever seen. His track record speaks for itself.
Even with cameras pointed right in his face and the whole world watching, Popovich stays collected and charismatic. His demeanor can make senior, well-seasoned announcers nervous, even though there’s no ill intent. It’s just the way the coach is and what he’s become known and loved for.
The point is, having charisma and staying true to yourself is a great way to win the hearts of the audience.
The takeaway: CHARISMA IS KEY
Delivering amazing speeches
To wrap things up, here are the things necessary to give a great keynote speech at a conference or a business meeting:
– knowing the ropes of speaking and using your voice in a conscious manner
– being in the right environment
– not fearing to show your emotions
– discussing an exciting issue
– avoiding certain things that may delude your message
– being self-confident and charismatic with a pinch of humor
Use these bullet points to improve as a speaker yourself or when inviting a guest to your event. Do a little research to figure out if the person you want to bring in meets the criteria and will fit your show well.
If you’re afraid of public speaking, let us know in the comments what would you rather do than give a presentation in front of a major crowd.