Finding the Right Keynote Speaker for Your Virtual Event

Post by 
Brandon Busuttil
July 14, 2020

Once you’ve decided that you need to host a virtual event, the next question will probably be: “Who should I choose as the keynote speaker?” There are many things that should be considered when making this decision. However, in this blog article, we are only focusing on the most important.

Read on to find out more about the attributes your keynote speaker needs to have:

Expert in the Content

First, your keynote speaker needs to be an expert in the content you want to present. For example, you probably wouldn’t ask a medical doctor to speak at a virtual event about construction. Thus, ensure that the person you select is qualified to talk about the topic for the duration of your event. Perhaps even more importantly, be sure they can answer questions that your audience may have, because, after all, these cannot be predicted, and you don’t want your speaker to appear unknowledgeable about the topic.

This doesn’t mean that the keynote speaker needs to know everything about the content. It does mean that they need to be able to state what they know clearly and concisely. The audience needs to be able to understand the content. Not only must your keynote speaker be an expert on the topic, but they must also be able to converse about it effectively to reach the audience.

Knowledgeable about Virtual Events

The most effective keynote speaker is one that knows how to work the kind of event you’re hosting. This means that your speaker should be adept with technology and able to use the chosen platform for the presentation. For example, if you decide to use Second Life or Zoom with Microsoft PowerPoint, it’s vital they know how to work the platform and software for the event.

They also need to know how virtual events work. This means they must be able to develop a strategy for audience engagement. This could be in the form of pauses, a Q&A session, or other types of interactions. The keynote speaker is leading the event and needs to be able to do so on multiple levels.

Passionate and Energetic

The keynote speaker needs to bring incredible energy to the virtual event. This is important because it will increase the likelihood of audience engagement. Without the audience being engaged, interactions don’t occur and the event is more likely to be unsuccessful. These interactions, to a large extent, come in response to the keynote speaker’s excitement. To help ensure that this happens, you might want to look inside your company for someone that could be the right fit. After all, getting a keynote speaker from your existing employees helps show their commitment to your vision.

Select a keynote speaker that is passionate about the content and knows how to convey this excitement to the audience. This will help you get your message across, which might potentially lead to further actions by audience members. Excitement frequently leads to action, which is what you want most.

Committed to Your Vision and Message

Your keynote speaker needs to be committed to the vision of the company and the message you’re wanting to convey. If the speaker is from within the company, this may be easier than if you choose an external speaker. This means that, even if the speaker is giving a motivational speech, information needs to be given in how the topics of interest influence the audience in relation to your company.

This can happen, however, whether the speaker is obtained internally or externally, by giving them the tools to incorporate your vision into their message. By weaving the vision into the message, or relating the message to the vision at strategic points, your audience will be able to see the links between the message and the company. Another option may be to indicate how the key points of the talk relate to the company in the presentation itself.

Comfortable and Confident in Front of the Camera

Once you have narrowed down your list of possible virtual event speakers, the last thing to consider is whether or not they will be comfortable and confident in front of the camera. You might have found the event topic’s most well-recognized expert, but if they suddenly freeze or don’t know how to act the minute they’re live, your event could be a disaster.

Not only should your prospective keynote speaker be able to pull off an engaging, exciting presentation in front of the camera, they also need to understand some basics about presenting on screen. They need to know how to dress appropriately for a virtual event (busy patterns which are great in person can be distracting on-screen, for example), and how to set the camera up in the best possible way (ideally at eye level and in good light). You don’t want small details to negatively impact your event.

Key Takeaways

It would be difficult to generate success and brand awareness all on your own, which is why it helps, especially in these uncertain times, to host events aimed at a larger market. A virtual event is a great way to achieve this goal more effectively due to the ability to reach people in different geographic locations. Technological advancements help to ensure that this is easily achieved.

To recap, here are the things to remember when choosing your virtual event speaker:

  • You’re looking for someone that is an expert in the content. You need someone who can offer valuable information and insights into the topic in an easy-to-understand way and answer any questions the audience might have. You also need to be sure that the speaker is knowledgeable enough to deliver the message in a way that is understood by the audience.
  • You’re looking for someone knowledgeable about virtual events. This doesn’t only mean being aware of how to conduct such an event, but also with regards to the technology needed for virtual events.
  • You’re looking for someone passionate and energetic about the content. Passion and energy can lead to excitement in audience members, which is more likely to increase engagement both during and after the event. If the audience member is engaged, they are more likely to leave thinking “Wow! I can do this!” and are more likely to contact your company for help in their endeavors or to purchase your product.
  • You’re looking for someone who is committed to your vision and message. This person doesn’t have to be an employee of your company, but that’d be a good idea if possible. Either way, you want to find a speaker that believes in and is willing to promote your vision and message. This means they have to make it their own to lead a successful virtual event.
  • You’re looking for someone who can effortlessly pull off a phenomenal virtual event — that means being comfortable in front of the camera and knowing some on-screen best practices (like how to set the camera up and how to dress).

Virtual events can be a powerful solution to the generation of brand awareness if you know how to use them effectively. If you’re not sure where to start, we can definitely help. If you enjoyed this article, then check out our ebook: Your Guide to Generating Brand Awareness Through Virtual Events. You can also book a consultation or contact us to ask questions.


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