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Implement keynote speaking into your personal business strategy: 12 tips

From building a strong online presence to connecting with your audience, here are the 12 answers to the questions, “Is becoming a keynote speaker part of your personal business strategy? If so, what are some helpful tips you would give to others who are considering this strategy as well?”

  • Build a Strong Executive Presence Online
  • Be Authentic
  • Hone Your Craft
  • Start by Speaking Anywhere
  • Get in Front of the Right Audience
  • Learn the Art of Speech Writing
  • Be Passionate and Knowledgeable About Your Subject
  • Speak for Free
  • Have a Plan B
  • Rehearse, Rehearse, and Rehearse
  • Write a Book
  • Connect With Your Audience


Build a Strong Executive Presence Online

As a growth leader, marketer, and wordsmith, becoming a keynote speaker aligns perfectly with my career aspirations. While I guest post to around 80 blogs a month to share my insights about the out-of-home (OOH) advertising space for high-ranking websites, I also sit on the Forbes Communication Council, where I contribute to editorial pieces. 

Expanding your thought leadership online is an excellent way to reach a broad audience. And having your byline appear at the top of the article compels the reader to check out your bio and company info. 

While mastering the art of speaking is essential to becoming a keynote speaker, getting your name and knowledge out there gets you noticed by event organizers searching for thought leaders to take part in their upcoming events.

Chris Gadek, VP of Growth, AdQuick

Be Authentic

Yes, becoming a keynote speaker was my plan from the beginning. I believe it’s the most effective way to grow your personal brand, and open yourself to vast networking opportunities.

After years of grinding, my tip to anyone new is: just be yourself. Allow your personality to shine through, but remain professional. Being yourself as a keynote speaker means being confident, vulnerable, and authentic. 

To be yourself, it is important to be confident in your message and how you are presenting it. It is also important to be open to vulnerability in your presentations. Being vulnerable allows you to connect with your audience in a deeper way. 

Last, authenticity is key. Stay genuine with your audience—and yourself. If you are authentic, you will connect with your audience meaningfully. Being yourself as a keynote speaker is an important part of being successful not only during the speech but in the field as well.

Gerrid Smith, Chief Marketing Officer, Joy Organics


Hone Your Craft

Yes, becoming a keynote speaker is definitely part of my personal business strategy. My tip for aspiring keynote speakers is to focus on honing your craft. Master the art of public speaking, practice your presentation skills often, and always be prepared with a powerful message that resonates with your audience. 

Building up a portfolio of success stories from clients you’ve affected will also help establish yourself as an authority in the field and make you a more attractive choice for keynote speaking engagements. 

Additionally, use social media to drive visibility to your work, network with other industry professionals, and attend conferences and events to grow your platform.

Amira Irfan, Founder & CEO, A Self Guru


Start by Speaking Anywhere

Becoming a keynote speaker is a critical part of my budding video marketing agency. I’ve spoken at over 20 events in the last two years. Some events had 5 attendees. Some had over 100. But every time I could take away another learning experience, giving me more confidence for the next. 

That’s why my number one piece of advice for those considering speaking as a strategy is to take on any opportunity you can in the beginning, paid or unpaid. Also, don’t forget to get a testimonial from every event organizer once you’re done and put this on your website. 

Create a page on your website that’s titled “Speaking” (or something similar) and put these testimonials on that page, along with all the events you’ve spoken at. You can then use this as leverage to book more speaking engagements.

Justin Vajko, Principal & Chief Strategy Guy, Dialog


Get in Front of the Right Audience

Getting on stage as a speaker is my primary marketing strategy for 2023 because it worked in 2022.

I talked at lunch-n-learns, conferences, and a few summits about my “expert” topics to get my brand story in front of my ideal clients. It increased my brand’s reach, facilitated my goal of being seen as an expert, and resulted in people reaching out to me for help.

Some stages were free, some paid me, and others I paid for access to their audience. The third option is best for lead generation and marketing, as long as you find the event offering the solutions you sell and give you the opportunity to make an offer and build your email list.

Before you reach out to events, understand your aim. If it’s to make sales, then paying to get on stage will give you the results you want, whereas the other stages will give you more brand authority and credibility.

Shannon Peel, Brand Storyteller, MarketAPeel


Learn the Art of Speech Writing

If you want to make the most of this opportunity, my best advice is to learn the art of speech writing. Speech writing not only helps you craft your message so that it resonates with your target audience, but it also gives you structure and makes delivering your presentation far easier. As I started including more keynote speeches as part of my business strategy, I found success in taking public speaking and speech writing courses as well as practicing my talks before presenting them for real. If done correctly, becoming a keynote speaker could be a great addition to any personal business strategy!

Rosmy Barrios, Director, Health Reporter

Be Passionate and Knowledgeable About Your Subject

For me, health and wellness have always been my top priority. I believe in the power of good health, both physically and mentally. It’s why I strive to become a keynote speaker on health-related topics. 

The key to becoming a successful keynote speaker, no matter the topic, is to be passionate and knowledgeable about your subject. If you are truly passionate, informed, and able to engage with an audience, then you have the foundation for becoming a successful keynote speaker. 

But it doesn’t stop there; you must continue to hone your craft by researching, practicing, and listening to feedback. Only then can you become a successful keynote speaker with the power to make actual change in the world.

Erik Pham, CEO, Health Canal


Speak for Free

One tip I would give to anyone considering adding this strategy is to speak for free initially. This allows you to build a portfolio of the speeches you can give, as well as gain credibility with potential clients who see your experience on the platform. 

You also network and grow your audience base if you are speaking for free at events or conferences. Offering free talks will also help you get the practice needed to sound natural and confident when delivering presentations, which will be extremely beneficial in achieving success with this strategy.

Derek Bruce, Sr. Director, Skills Training Group


Have a Plan B

Yes, becoming a keynote speaker was part of my personal business strategy, mainly because it helped build a vast and meaningful network.

My tip for new speakers: before you get on stage, have a plan for your presentation. Know what you’re going to say and when. That will be your plan A. If it fails or you, by any chance, mess up, you must have a Plan B.

You’re going to start by writing an outline and listing the main points you want to make. Provide clear direction and structure to your presentation, so that your audience can easily follow along. 

Next, decide on the visuals you want to use, such as slides, handouts, and props. These elements will help you keep your audience engaged and help illustrate your points. 

Finally, practice your presentation several times to make sure you are comfortable with the material. This will help ensure that you can deliver a powerful and effective keynote speech.

Sam DeCroes, Co-Founder, The Profit Sector


Rehearse, Rehearse, and Rehearse

Becoming a keynote speaker is included in my personal business plans. As I believe, it’s one of the quickest ways to project your image in the industry as a thought leader. Rehearsing as a keynote speaker is key to delivering a successful and engaging presentation that resonates with your audience.

First, prepare your speech in advance and be sure to practice it out loud. This will help you become more familiar with the material and ensure that you are comfortable speaking in front of an audience.

Second, use video or audio recordings to review your performance and identify areas where you can improve.

Third, enlist a colleague to help you practice and give feedback on how to make your presentation more dynamic and engaging.

Finally, practice in front of a mirror or record yourself speaking to gain valuable insight into your delivery and performance. Rehearsing is essential for any keynote speaker and will ensure an enjoyable presentation for the audience.

Kristian Longden, Content Marketing Executive, James and James Fulfilment


Write a Book

I get paid for keynote events, but the day I published my first book was the day I could double and then triple my speaking fee due to increased demand. As soon as you have a book, people assume you’re an expert and that you have something valuable to share. 

A book is like a business card on steroids. Just like they used to say, “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM,” no event organizer ever got fired for hiring a keynote speaker who was a published author.

Josh Steimle, Founder, MWI


Connect With Your Audience

Yes, being a keynote speaker helps my business as other industry leaders see my image as credible and inspirational. Which is why it’s at the core of my business plan.

Also, my tip for anyone making their way into the game of becoming a keynote speaker is this: always remember that your audience is the most important part of your presentation.

As a keynote speaker, establishing a deep connection throughout your speech is the only key to success. To do this, establish a connection with the audience from the very beginning of your speech. You can start by introducing yourself and your connection to the topic, then use stories and anecdotes to make your points, as this will help to make your speech more relatable. 

Additionally, be sure to use body language and facial expressions to show your enthusiasm and passion for the topic. Finally, be sure to ask questions throughout the speech to engage the audience and get them involved.

Jonathan Merry, Founder & CEO, Bankless Times


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