What is a keynote speaker?

A Keynote Speaker (m/f) gives a special form of presentation at events. He or she puts listeners in the mood for a topic, makes them think and arouses their interest. A keynote speaker helps organisers to shed general light on a topic beyond the purely technical level and thus gives the audience a general introduction or overview of the topic.

Task of a Keynote Speaker

In the context of an event, a keynote speaker has different tasks and functions. Although a keynote speaker also conveys facts, this is usually of secondary importance. Specialist speakers often take on the role of conveying facts. A keynote speaker therefore has other tasks and functions:

#1 Icebreaker” function

A keynote speaker attunes the audience to a topic in such a way that listeners become curious. Keynote Speaker Dr. Jens-Uwe Meyer, for example, is often engaged as a motivational speaker for events at which future strategies of companies are presented or customers are informed about innovative digital offers from companies. His lecture on digital disruption will show the audience the trends and principles of digitalization. A keynote speaker often gives the opening speech in his function as “icebreaker”.

#2 Translator function

A good keynote speaker does without buzzwords. Specialist events in particular deal with a multitude of technical and sometimes abstract terms. An example: Bitcoin technology. The technology behind the Bitcoin is complex and in need of explanation. A keynote speaker helps the audience to explore such complex topics. In order to explain the technologies behind the Bitcoin, Keynote Speaker Dr. Jens-Uwe Meyer often conducts an interactive session with the participants. The individual listeners serve as “data storage” for a transaction that is carried out in the audience. (Listener A lends listener B two euros). Read more here about best motivational speakers of 2019 for more info.

The staging of a complex technological process helps listeners to get an idea of a technology. The effect can even be explained scientifically: When a keynote speaker stages a complex topic in the audience, what he has learned is anchored in the so-called “limbic system” of the brain, the memory of experience. In the course of the specialist event, the audience can always fall back on these experiences. This makes the specialist information easier and simpler to understand. A keynote speaker acts as a “translator”.

#3 Entertainment-function

Most events follow a certain dramaturgy: Specialist information, which often requires a high concentration and receptiveness of the participants, is supplemented by other elements. A possible dramaturgy of an event, for example, consists of an entertaining opening followed by several lectures. At the end of the lectures there is another element of entertainment. After breaks such as the lunch break, where participants traditionally have difficulty following an event, entertainment elements are placed to combat the so-called “soup coma”. The end of an event can also be marked by entertainment elements.

A keynote speaker creates a greater connection to the topic than an artist, for example, does. A good keynote speaker focuses on infotainment: supplementary or superordinate information on the topic of the symposium – told in an understandable and entertaining way with the help of examples, anecdotes and punch lines. A keynote speaker helps the organisers to implement a dramaturgy that is perceived by participants as versatile and motivating. In contrast to a clown or artist, a professional keynote speaker has the technical background that allows him or her to build a bridge to the audience.

#4 Motivational function

At many events, listeners are taught complex topics. However, there is often a lack of motivation to put what they have heard into practice. Here, a keynote speaker supports the organisers by conveying messages with a strong motivational character. A keynote speaker who acts as a motivational speaker often ends his keynote with simple requests.

For example: “Make! An invitation not to wait long to implement the experienced. Motivational messages are often backed up by practical tips: “Take your smartphone now. Block now daily thirty minutes in your appointment calendar and begin from tomorrow with the conversion. A keynote speaker ensures that the contents of an event are anchored by participants on both the technical and emotional level.

Keynote Speaker is an independent profession

A good keynote speaker knows his tasks. He has a dramaturgy within his lectures with which he takes the audience on a journey. Emotional pictures and stories, anecdotes and punch lines mixed with well-founded messages. A professional keynote speaker is constantly on the lookout for anecdotes and images that can be used in a lecture, inspire the audience and underpin the motivational character of a keynote.

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