Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Getting a Keynote Speaker

Have you ever tried looking for the right keynote speaker for an event you’re organizing? It’s not that easy isn’t it? There are just so many things to consider and the last thing you need is to have someone that is not at all perfectly fit for your event.

Below are ten mistakes people usually commit when trying to look for that perfect keynote speaker. Be sure not to make these mistakes and your event ought to be a breeze.

  1. Not defining what a successful event will look like.  – A successful event is accomplished when the audience is more than satisfied with the outcome. Were they able to get what they want from the speaker? Were they able to do what you want them to do? Remember, it’s always about the audience and not about the speaker.
  2. Not being clear about the outcome of the speaker’s presentation. – Like what Stephen Covey said in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “Begin with the end in mind.” Need I say more?
  3. Hiring an egocentric speaker. – A good keynote speaker will always think of what’s good for the audience rather than what’s good for himself.
  4. Ignoring the role of the speaker in meeting the event organizers’ objectives. – The relationship between the speaker and the event organizers should always be win-win.
  5. Not having a follow-up strategy. – Good speakers will always offer something more especially if you expect the audience to change or to take action. The speaker could recommend one-on-one consultations, books to read, online courses to attend, etc.
  6. Not asking for references. – Do your homework well. Always ask people who already had the chance to listen to this keynote speaker before: Would they hire him/her again?
  7. Hiring the cheapest speaker. – What you pay for is what you get. So set aside the right budget and go get the right speaker for the job.
  8. Focusing on lowering the fee. – Good speakers are typically expensive. So instead of focusing on how you can lower their fees, the better thing to do would be to increase their value. Like ask him/her if he/she could do one on one consultations afterwards, even just a short one after the event.
  9. Getting the speaker in and out quickly. – Have your speaker attend the program and get him/her involved with the audience by having him/her stay afterwards in case people would like to ask further questions and build on what has been talked about.
  10. Hiring a speaker when you need something else. – If it’s not a keynote speaker you need, then don’t get one. Perhaps what you really need is just an expert or a few experts from your company to explain some things. Then that’s who you get.

Organizing events is tough. Sometimes you have to cut corners. But cutting corners when it comes to getting the best keynote speaker is not a good idea. By avoiding the above-mentioned mistakes, you can be assured that your audience will be more than happy to keep coming back to your events. And if you happen to be a keynote speaker yourself, then these tips could apply to you too.

For more insight on this matter, please head to: Ten Common Mistakes When Hiring a Keynote Speaker

Five No-No Ideas in Public Speaking

A presentation is similar to a conversation such that there’s is a back and forth / give and take relationship between the speaker and the audience but with a bit more structure. In order to do this, be sure to avoid these five no-no ideas in public speaking:

1. “Tell ‘em what you’re going to say, say it, and tell ‘em what you said.” – While repetition can be good to make sure that your audience gets your point, don’t overdo it. Or if there’s an idea you have to keep conveying to them, do so by paraphrasing or telling another story with similar lesson. But if it’s not necessary, avoid repetition.

2. “A good presentation has to have slides.  Has to!” – While PowerPoint slides and its clones can help bring out the best in your presentation especially when done properly, great public speeches rarely use them.

3. “A speech is a formal occasion.  It’s not the same as a conversation.  Different rules apply.” It actually is a kind of conversation but with more structure and an end goal in mind.

4. “When I speak, I have to stay behind the podium.” By showing yourself to your audience, moving around the stage, coming near them when necessary, you show courage and more credibility. Don’t hide behind the podium. If your notes are there and the button you use to click on your slides, be more prepared and use wireless.

5. “We have to save the last 15 minutes of the speech slot for Q ‘n A.” Do you usually have Q&A as the final thing that your audience hears after your speech? Why not save the last 5 minutes of your allotted time for your remarks instead? This way, you get to summarize and end your whole speech gracefully rather than have your audience hear from you the last answer to the last question asked which is what pretty much they will remember.


For more insight, please head to: Bad Rules Never Seem to Die: the 5 Worst Ideas in Public Speaking

12 Pauses that Can Improve Your Presentations

When pauses are used properly in speeches and presentations, they can make you a better speaker and/or presenter. Your audiences are able to understand you better because pauses control the overall pace of your delivery and therefore can help convey emotions more effectively. They are healthy and can help engage your audience by making them want more. Pauses can help you catch up with your mind and help replace those filler words like “uhm”. But if pauses aren’t used properly, you’d just make your audience struggle to understand you. Below are 12 kinds of pauses that can either make or break your career in public speaking and presenting so use them well:

  1. The Clause Pause (or the Comma Pause)
  2. The Sentence Pause
  3. The Paragraph Pause
  4. The Emphasis Pause
  5. Rhetorical Question Pause
  6. New Visual Pause
  7. “I’m in Thought” Pause
  8. Dramatic Pause
  9. Punchline Pause
  10. Power Pause
  11. Get-a-Drink Pause
  12. Check-Your-Notes Pause

To find out how to do these pauses, please head to: Speech Pauses: 12 Techniques to Speak Volumes with Your Silence

Allow Extra Time in Presentations and Reap Its Rewards

Smart speakers don’t fill in all the time allotted for them to talk. This allows them extra time for other things that will make their talk more memorable and full of impact. Here are the benefits you will reap if you allow extra time in your speech or presentation:

  1. A happier audience – by not talking the whole allotted time, you make your audience want for more. That’s a sign that they’re happy about your talk.
  2. A more engaged audience – no audience would want you babbling all the time. They want to participate too and I don’t mean by just nodding and clapping.
  3. Less stress in the room – When there are only 5 minutes left to finish your talk, you would feel not just your stress but the anxiety of your audience too. Some would feel anxious that their questions won’t be answered and worse, that you still haven’t delivered the point of your story.
  4. More time to show off your deep knowledge – By allowing time for some Q&A, you’d impress your audience with your expertise. Don’t overwhelm them with all the facts and data during the talk. Leave some of the most important ones during the Q&A portion.
  5. Ease in handling the unexpected – When something unexpected happens like technical difficulty, fire alarm going off, etc. you’ll be less anxious about it since you’ve already allowed some time for something like this.
  6. A chance for better, more dramatic pacing – Talk fast and you’ll lose the attention of your audience. Allow for some dramatic pacing because you know you have the time will make you more engaging.
  7. Better comprehension from your audience – By talking at varied and slower pace, your audience will understand you better.

For more insight on this matter, please head to:  7 secret advantages of the speaker who allows extra time


Presentation Lessons from the Olympics

The London 2012 Olympics has just ended on August 12. What lessons have we gotten from it as presenters? Here are a few you may be able to resonate with:

Lesson 1: Great presentations are the result of relentless practice.

When you practice, you should also not repeat the same mistakes before. Practice to be better.

Lesson 2) Great presentations require unshakeable self belief

With enough amount of self-confidence, you can do anything, including presenting in front of a thousand people even if you’re the introvert type.

Lesson 3) Managing your “nerves” is a critical success factor

Find that inner calm within you and harness that nervous energy. That’s what the Olympic champions did and so can you.


For more insight on this matter, pls. head to:

Olympic lessons for presenters who want to be the best



Five Design Rules for Presentations According to Duarte

I got to watch a video from Duarte Designs about five rules presenters can abide by if they want to make awesome presentations. Let me summarize the rules here:

1. Treat your audience as king – Meet their needs and not just yours.

2. Spread ideas and move people – You’re audience is there to see you and be inspoired by you, not to listen to your 60-page onscreen dissertation.

3. Help them see what you’re saying – With half the audience being visual thinkers and the other half being verbal thinkers, you can combine minimal text with meaningful visual to reach both types of audience.

4. Practice design, not decoration – De-decorating is the best policy. De-clutter.

5. Cultivate healthy relationships – Don’t hide behind your slides.

For more information, watch the whole video at: Duarte Design’s Five Rules for Presentations


How to Get Your Audience’s Attention in a Jiffy

It is quite a challenge, even for the experienced speakers, to catch your audience’s attention the first ten seconds of your speech or presentation. How do you do this? Rapport must immediately be established if possible in order to get them involved and elicit feelings of interest and curiosity.

These tips below on how to get your audience’s attention in 10 seconds are probably some tricks you’ve never heard of before. They’re worth trying as they seem to work for those who have already used them in their speeches and presentations. Here they are:

1. Use audio shock

2. Make your audience write 

3. Turn your back

4. Use a video intro 

5. Use unconventional props

6. Use a ball

7. Join the audience

8. Give them a super surprise

9. Get an unwilling volunteer

To know the details of these awesome tips, please head to: 9 Tips to Get Your Audience’s Attention…in 10 Seconds