Keynote Speaker: The Importance of Finding the Right One for Your Event

Keynote Speaker: The Importance of Finding the Right One for Your Event

Keynote speakers are like the heart of any big event, whether it’s a business conference, an educational symposium, or even a political rally. They have this amazing ability to grab your attention, inspire you, and get you pumped up with their powerful speeches.

So, picking the right speaker is a big deal because it can make a lasting impact. It might seem overwhelming, but understanding why keynote speakers are so important and what sets the great ones apart is crucial. 

In this blog, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about keynote speakers – their role, what makes them effective, and how to find the perfect fit for your event.

Whether you’re organizing a corporate event, leading a business, or just love a good speech, this guide is here to give you the knowledge and tips on how to find the perfect speaker for your event and make it unforgettable. So, let’s kick things off by looking at why keynote speakers are the secret sauce for a successful event.

What is a Keynote Speaker?

A keynote speaker takes the spotlight at an event. While most are familiar with keynotes from graduations, these impactful speeches also shine at conferences, retreats, and big occasions. Often seen as the main attraction or the event’s “star,” the keynote speaker sets the tone for the gathering.

The role of a keynote speaker is important not just setting the tone but also shaping the energy and theme. When the keynote speaker kicks off the event, they offer attendees a sneak peek into what the event is all about. Their main goal? To pave the way for everything that follows. Typically hired by event planners, these speakers may receive guidelines on what to discuss.

While event managers can influence the speech and choose speakers that fit their event and brand, the approach can vary. Based on the event’s goals, planners might opt for business speakers who excel in motivating and fostering mindfulness, or celebrity speakers who would offer industry-specific insights.

Why Is It Important to Find the Right Keynote Speaker?

Finding the perfect keynote speaker for your event is crucial as they establish the tone and encapsulate the core message of the event. Often distinguished experts or well-known figures in their field, draw attendees and pique interest in the event.

Their speech goes beyond a presentation; it serves as the ‘key note,’ guiding the broader conversation the event fosters. Their words spark thoughts, ignite discussions, and influence the direction of various event sessions. The insights a keynote speaker shares are eagerly awaited and play a vital role in shaping the success and impact of an event.

7 Qualities of a Good Keynote Speaker - Brad Sugars

What Are the Qualities of a Good Keynote Speaker?

A good keynote speaker possesses a unique blend of expertise, eloquence, and the ability to connect with an audience, regardless of size or background.

Good Storyteller

Stories are the key to delivering a presentation that captivates, uplifts, and truly engages the audience. Great speakers weave personal experiences, anecdotes, and passion into the event’s theme. By leveraging their social skills in an accessible and unique manner, they connect with listeners on a personal level, revealing their authentic selves. Take Brian O’Driscoll, for example, who shares captivating stories through Q&A or interview-style presentations.


The best possible keynote speakers know that boring speeches don’t captivate listeners. Great keynote speakers infuse genuine passion and enthusiasm into their topics, expressing inner emotions through body language, gestures, and tone of voice. Focusing on nonverbal communication is vital. When speakers exude passion, it inspires guests to share in that excitement!

Credible & Trustworthy

For a keynote speaker to truly connect with an audience, it’s crucial to come across as credible and trustworthy. This means having a genuine, in-depth understanding of the topic, and being seen as an expert in the field. Establishing credibility often requires a mix of formal education, practical experience, and noteworthy accomplishments related to the subject.

Trust is also fostered through honesty and transparency—speakers who share not just their successes but also their failures and the lessons gained tend to forge a deeper bond. This blend of credibility and trust not only enhances the impact of their message but also boosts the keynote speaker’s ability to sway and motivate the audience. A credible speaker enhances the event’s prestige and ensures attendees receive valuable, reliable information and insights.

Authentic & Genuine

Good speakers craft their unique style. If attendees sense insincerity, they won’t truly listen. A great keynote is all about authenticity and originality – that’s the key. Authenticity is what truly captivates an audience, fostering trust and inspiration. This emotional bond leaves a lasting impact, turning events from informative to transformative.


The top keynote speakers are articulate. It’s more than just speaking fluently; it’s about expressing thoughts clearly and effectively to captivate an audience. An articulate speaker structures their keynote speech logically, making it easy for listeners to follow. They choose words thoughtfully to aid understanding and retention.

This skill ensures the audience not only hears but also feels and remembers the message long after the event. Articulate speakers simplify complex speaking topics, making them engaging and inclusive, inviting the audience on a journey of discovery and insight together.

Good Sense of Humor

Keynote speakers embody the perfect mix of entertainer and educator. With natural charisma, they entertain while imparting valuable insights. Their dynamic presence and eloquence make the audience receptive, creating a memorable experience. By blending humor with seriousness, these speakers captivate and leave a lasting impact, ensuring a rich and engaging presentation.

Relatable & Likeable

Being relatable and likable is key for a keynote speaker. It helps bridge the gap with the audience, making the message more impactful and memorable. Relatable speakers share personal experiences, challenges, and solutions that resonate with listeners. They connect with diverse audiences, creating an inclusive and engaging atmosphere.

Likeability comes from conveying warmth, friendliness, and a positive attitude through body language and presence. This encourages a stronger connection and investment in the speaker’s message. Combining relatability and likeability enhances communication effectiveness, creating a rich and inspiring learning environment.

5 Different Keynote Roles - Brad Sugars

Different Keynote Roles

A passionate keynote speaker infuses their speech with enthusiasm and energy, captivating the audience and ensuring the message not only lands but resonates deeply.

Setting a Positive but Relevant Tone

A keynote speaker isn’t just about motivation or inspiration. While motivational speakers share compelling stories of triumph, keynotes go further. They inspire, aligning with the event’s context and participants. They encapsulate the conference’s core message, offering both a big-picture view and a detailed perspective. Event organizers must choose wisely, as the keynote sets the tone for success and audience satisfaction.

Sharing Expertise and Knowledge

Exceptional keynote speakers are truly remarkable for their ability to share expertise and wisdom in a way that informs and uplifts. They have a unique talent for simplifying complex topics without losing their essence. Through their enriching presentations, they offer profound insights and draw from extensive experience, providing perspectives that are hard to come by.

They adapt their message to resonate with the audience, ensuring that both newcomers and seasoned professionals leave with fresh knowledge and renewed perspectives. By sharing their expertise in this manner, keynote speakers not only educate but also empower their audience to apply these insights in their personal and professional journeys, extending the impact of the event far beyond its conclusion.

Attracting and Engaging the Audience

Another crucial aspect of being a keynote speaker is the ability to draw in attendees and create a sense of anticipation that they can’t afford to miss out on the event; they should act as a strong magnet. This not only relies on the speaker’s reputation but also their talent for generating enthusiasm and eagerness for their presentation.

A speaker with a high profile or esteemed status can significantly drive event sign-ups, as participants eagerly anticipate gaining valuable insights and motivation from someone they look up to or wish to model. Moreover, an engaging speaker can stir up excitement around the event, prompting organic promotion through word-of-mouth and social media sharing, thus broadening the event’s reach and influence.

Their presence ensures a captivating and thought-provoking session that pledges to enhance the audience’s grasp and involvement in the event’s central theme.

Providing Thought Leadership

Being a keynote speaker involves more than just presenting; it’s about being an influencer. Thought leaders share groundbreaking ideas, challenge norms, and inspire change. They take you beyond the usual, opening up new possibilities. Their expertise empowers you to see the future differently. By sharing wisdom and encouraging growth, thought leaders shape their fields, making a lasting impact.

Closing Keynotes

The role of a closing keynote speaker is truly significant. They hold the vital responsibility of ensuring the audience’s last moments at the event are not just engaging but memorable. The speaker and their topic must captivate attendees, keeping them there till the end. As a closing keynote speaker, they need to reinforce the event’s main message, similar to how the opening keynote sets the theme.

Their unique challenge lies in leaving the audience with a lasting impression of the event’s key messages, so these insights stick in daily life. This means delivering speeches filled with optimism and encouragement, painting a bright future for the industry or community. By fulfilling this role effectively, closing keynote speakers can turn the closing ceremonies into a moment of reflection and inspiration, setting a tone that promotes positive action and ongoing engagement well after the event ends.

Where to Find the Right Keynote Speaker

Finding the best keynote speaker is pivotal to the success of your event, emphasizing the need for a meticulous selection process. 

Browse your Network for Recommendations

One of the best ways to book a keynote speaker for events is to reach out to your colleagues, industry experts, and event professionals for advice. Ask them about where they found the professional speaker for their latest event. Inquire if there’s someone they’d recommend or a resource they’ve found beneficial in the past.

Networking can reveal valuable insights and introduce you to speakers you might not uncover through online searches alone. Personal recommendations also offer a more dependable gauge of a speaker’s effectiveness and the impact they made on an event’s success.

Contact Colleges, Universities, and other Educational Institutions

Another option to find a speaker for your event is to connect with professors, department heads, and administrators to gather their suggestions. No matter your field, local educational institutions typically have a wealth of speakers, experts, and alumni to recommend. These educational insights often include a range of past materials to assess, allowing you to evaluate their expertise, speaking style, relevance, and impact on your audience. 

Contact a Speakers Bureau

Organizations like the National Speakers Bureau connect event professionals with expert speakers for hire. The NSB’s website section highlights: “Remember the last time you were at an event, hanging on every word the speaker said? We know who those speakers are.” This embodies the bureau’s aim: to offer engaging speakers who create an unforgettable event experience. 

Reach Out to Charities, Foundations, and Other Related Organizations

Connecting with charities, foundations, and related organizations is key. Motivational speakers and experts partnering with charities bring a unique passion and authenticity to their presentations. Their firsthand experiences in philanthropy and social causes offer compelling narratives that truly resonate. By collaborating with speakers from these backgrounds, your event gains a genuine touch that inspires action and a sense of social responsibility among attendees.

Elevate Your Event with an Unforgettable Keynote Speaker – Brad Sugars

Brad Sugars’ life changed when he met Jim Rohn in his youth, sparking a lifelong journey of entrepreneurship and personal growth. Starting from saving his allowance to attend a Rohn seminar, Sugars has become a renowned global figure in business. Known as a bestselling author, top business coach, and influential speaker, he leads multiple companies, notably the ActionCOACH franchise.

His focus on building thriving businesses that allow entrepreneurs to prioritize passions and family life has impacted many. Sugars’ practical business approach emphasizes efficiency and growth, resonating with millions seeking success and fulfillment. Committed to empowering others, he embodies true entrepreneurship by sharing experiences and success with aspiring individuals. 

Contact us today and book Brad Sugars for your next event!


What is the difference between keynote speaker and guest speaker?

The key difference between a keynote speaker and a guest speaker comes down to their roles at an event. A keynote speaker is chosen to deliver a central message, setting the event’s tone. Their presentation is a highlight, capturing the core theme and inspiring the audience. On the flip side, guest speakers focus on specific topics or sharing expert insights in smaller sessions. While their contributions are valuable, they don’t hold the same weight or prominence as the keynote speaker.

Is keynote speaker same as motivational speaker?

While a keynote speaker can inspire, motivate, and energize the audience, it’s important to note that a keynote speakers and motivational speakers may have a slightly different focus. Motivational speakers aim to inspire and energize the audience through personal stories of triumph over challenges or achieving goals. Their objective is to drive positive changes in attitudes, behaviors, or beliefs.

On the other hand, a keynote speaker, while also capable of motivating, is selected to introduce and emphasize the main theme of the event. They offer valuable insights relevant to the event’s core purpose. Their primary role revolves around setting the event’s direction and tone, which may or may not include elements of personal motivation.

Can there be 2 keynote speakers at an event?

Yes, events can feature multiple keynote speakers, depending on their size, duration, and setup. Having a variety of speakers allows organizers to address diverse topics, cater to different audience interests, and offer varied perspectives.

This approach enriches the event’s content and boosts engagement. It’s vital to ensure that each speaker’s message aligns with the event’s theme and goals. Coordinating the keynotes to complement each other, rather than overlap, maintains a smooth flow and enhances the impact on attendees.

How long should a keynote talk be?

When delivering a keynote, the duration can vary based on the event’s format and schedule. Ideally, aim for 20 to 60 minutes. This time range allows speakers to connect deeply with the audience, deliver their message effectively, and maintain audience engagement. Shorter talks may lack depth, while longer ones can lose the audience’s interest. A clear presentation structure is crucial to cover key points within the allotted time, with room for a brief Q&A if the schedule allows.

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