Being a keynote speaker is not an easy task. It is your responsibility to deliver a great speech that can inspire and motivate your audience. In order to do so, certain preparations are necessary. Doing these preparations will help you become more effective and efficient with the speech that you are about to deliver. Here are some tips on how you should be preparing for your event.
1. Know the theme
You need to know what you need to talk about. Work closely with the organizer with regards to this information. If you know the theme, you will also be able to draft a speech and work your way from there.
2. Know the audience.
You should also ask the organizer about the demographics of the audience who will be listening to you. Through such information, you will be able to know who your audience is. As such, you can make a speech that each member of the audience can relate to.
3. Review the previous event.
If possible, you might want to review the things that took place in the previous event. For instance, you might want to know what things the other keynote speaker was talking about and make sure that your speech will not be the same as his. Doing so will give you individuality and will make your audience differentiate and remember you.
4. Prepare your speech.
You need to prepare your speech as early as possible. Try to work on a rough draft based on the details that you have acquired from the organizer, such as the theme and the audience demographics.
5. Practice your speech.
It is important that you practice the speech you have written like as if you are already talking in front of your audience. This will give you a feel and an idea as to what might happen when the time that you will be really delivering your speech comes. Practicing your speech can help you identify what tone you need to use at certain parts in order to emphasize your message.
6. Revise and edit, if necessary.
Face it. Your rough draft will never be the perfect one. However, you can make it good by revising and editing, if necessary. You should watch out for grammar lapses or even irrelevant ideas which may only prolong your speech yet will not really be meaningful for the event. If possible, revise and edit your speech to make it as concise yet as clear as possible.
7. Know the venue.
With the help of the organizers, you should know the venue where the conference or event will be held. This way, you can plan your route and arrive early. No one really wants to wait for a late keynote speaker. It also has a negative impact on you, professionally.
8. Prepare everything you will need.
You should prepare everything that you need for the event the night before. These may include a laptop, slideshow presentation, and charts among others. You might even want to prepare handouts that you can distribute to your audience.
9. Test your equipment.
Once you arrive at the venue, make sure to test your equipment. Try to hook up your laptop to the projector that is available in the venue to check whether it works or not. One of the reasons why an event becomes delayed is that the pieces of necessary equipment are not working properly. You can actually avoid that by testing them beforehand.
10. Relax and deliver your speech.
When it is time to deliver your speech, make sure that you are relaxed. Although being nervous is normal, it will only affect the way you talk, your pace, as well as how you present the message. If necessary, you can come up with and do relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises or listening to music, before coming up on stage. These techniques will help you calm your nerves so that you can clearly talk in front of your audience.
11. Meet the audience.
Once you are done with your speech, members of the audience might want to talk to you or ask some questions. Make sure to give time to meet them. Doing so can help you expand your network.
12. Thank the organizers.
Lastly, do not forget to thank the organizers. They are the ones who contacted you and entrusted you with the task of motivating the audience. They are also the ones who gave you the opportunity to earn.
These are only a couple of tips that you can do in order to prepare for your gig as a keynote speaker. If this is your first time, getting more gigs like this can actually help you become better at what you do.