What Keynote Speakers Might Be Doing Wrong

Face the fact: fantastic keynote speeches are very rare. Average speeches are tacky, boring, and just lack quality. Well, the greatest of speakers are not just born. They took time to practice, went through a hell lot of experience and learned from it. The point is that one cannot give a successful speech without shelling out some effort. Now, is it too late for that extraordinary speech you are preparing for? Below are 4 common mistakes beginner keynote speakers are most likely to commit and the recommended solutions for them. Watch out and try as much as you can to avoid these!


1.Bore his audience…to death. The speaker’s language is so boring, he uses cliché phrases, and he never jokes. So uninteresting. There are only a few listeners who are actually listening.




Keynote speakerHe should engage his audience! Tell jokes, share stories that will surely spark interest, even perform a little magic trick. If this doesn’t work for him, he must try modulating his voice. Maybe the words just sound so flat and boring when he says them. Speak in a louder voice to stress his main points. The power of voice and stress in speech when used correctly is very moving.


2.Stand stiff in one corner. There he is, wood-stiff while giving his talk. Everyone’s more nervous for him than he is for himself. It’s unsettling to the audience.




There’s a reason why they are called keynote speakers and not readers. A good speaker knows better than just standing there and reading out aloud his prepared written speech. He should pace around the stage while talking, for this engages the audience to listen. (Not too much though). This also helps relieve the speaker’s nervousness. Hand gestures are also encouraged. This way, he would seem comfortable in what he’s doing.


3.Speaker does not connect with the audience. Now, now, his talk is so intellectual and all, why do the listeners have to care? There is nothing the audience can relate to.




This is a typical scenario, the speaker getting carried away with his own provocative ideas that he ends up forgetting to connect with his listeners. It is important to have an emotional connection with one’s audience, that’s a rule of thumb. He should get them involved. He could either share a really heart-warming story that they’d remember, tell them of his own downfalls that helped him rise to who he is now, or show them a funny video. Keynote speakers have their own different ways, but the important thing is to capture the emotion of the audience, because it’s what will make the talk memorable.


4.Speaker is very, very nervous. He is so afraid to mess up the speech that he messes it up. His voice goes out of pitch, he mispronounces words, uses too much hand gestures; overall he looks very uncomfortable.




Most people are scared to speak in front of a lot of people, yes, that’s normal. But keynote speakers have to get over that fear, it’s just inevitable. Before the day of his speech, he should practice, probably with a group of close friends. Public speaking can be practiced, all it requires is confidence. After some tries, the talking will just come natural, and he’d be able to give a kick-ass speech impromptu.


Terrible speeches can be avoided with the right amount of prep time. These are just some common mistakes, and remember that it’s not at all bad to commit them sometimes. Just remember to correct yourself right away on the next ones. Delivering speeches could be mastered not in one day, but by experiences.

Posted by: Clyde Hendricks on