As a keynote speaker, I always want my audience to be captivated, inspired and then moved to action. After hearing a speech, audience members should feel energized about improving their lives. But you don’t want to rev them up with no place to go. It is important to fuel their passion for change with a clear attainable path to success.
Many people are intimidated by giving a keynote speech because they fear not connecting with the audience or inspiring them. But getting them excited is only part of the equation. An effective keynote speech must be rooted in affecting viable change.
So how can you ensure your keynote speech resonates with your audience and has an impact? Three key factors for success are authenticity, telling great stories and providing simple action steps.
Good keynote speakers are able to connect with their audience because of their authenticity. Authentic speakers are not trying to sell you something they don’t believe in or imbibe in their spirit. Rather, they genuinely believe what they are saying is true and want to share it with others. This personal integrity will establish your credibility as a speaker and help you connect with your audience.
Speeches that resonate with audiences usually include personal meaningful stories. “If you wish to influence an individual or a group to embrace a particular value in their daily lives, tell them a compelling story,” says Annette Simmons, business consultant and author of “The Story Factor.”
Stories unite human experience and nourish the spirit with unwavering support and encouragement. Knowing your neighbor has faced similar adversity and triumphed, imparts a wellspring of hope they can draw from.
Captivating stories have three key elements: they are real, inspiring and have a lesson. Your own experiences are a great resource for coming up with compelling stories to weave into your keynote speech.
Ask yourself these questions when developing gripping stories:
- What challenges have you faced in life?
- How did you overcome obstacles during a difficult time?
- What lessons did you learn?
- What examples can you share from your life or your family members and friends
that provide teachable moments or have made an impact?
As you reflect on these questions, you will be able to glean from honest experiences that propelled you in a positive direction. Share these with others so they can achieve similar results.
Provide Simple Action Steps
After captivating your audience with a compelling story, provide them with a few simple steps they can do to attain their goals. Don’t overwhelm them with too many things. Rather, hone in on two or three of the most effective action steps they can start implementing to see a change in their business or personal life.
For example, if the goal of your keynote speech is to get your audience to reduce spending, don’t recommend they read all the books ever written on financial literacy or that they never go out to dinner with family and friends. Instead, suggest attainable goals that are easy to incorporate in daily life such as tracking spending with a budget or replacing costly habits with home-made remedies.
Developing and delivering a keynote speech that resonates with your audience can be daunting. But if you remain authentic, tell meaningful stories and provide simple action steps, those in attendance will be captivated, inspired and empowered to act.