5 Things to Look for in a Great Virtual Keynote Speaker

A virtual keynote speaker is an essential component in making your event great. Odds are, you’ll search for hours looking to find the right fit. Leadership growth, business development and increased revenue hangs in the balance.

Thankfully, there are ways to stack the odds in your favor, and in doing so, assure you make the right decision. After all, you’re putting your name on a virtual event and will be looked at with admiration when you locate the speaker(s) that will help make you look good.

Selecting The Right Virtual Keynote Speaker For Your Event

As a CSP-Certified Speaking Professional (less than 10% of professional speakers world-wide have achieved this high-level status) and a Certified Virtual Presenter I understand what makes events fantastic. Below are 5 ideas to help you select the right person(s).

Things to Look for in a Great Virtual Keynote Speaker

1) You’re in charge of finding the right virtual keynote speaker, but it ain’t that easy. There are so many speakers available and you want those you have selected to understand your goals, participant pain points and desired outcomes aka takeaways.

You’ve narrowed the list down and now the real work begins. The key is in the interview. I present at 50+ events a year and always ask the meeting planner why I was selected. I want to understand and I want my team to know as well. Three reasons are given more than any other.

The first, is a combination of my business background, 20+ years of leadership at a large Berkshire Hathaway company and my topics. The second is that all of my presentations are customized. The third, is that I am flexible, easy to work with and put the conference/event first. Armed with this knowledge, I have a solid idea of how to engage meeting planners, answer their questions and then, deliver a fantastic keynote.

Certified Virtual Presenter

2) Questions make the difference. A great speaker will ask you many questions. They might surprise you with the depth or angle of the questions as well.

But rest assured, they are digging deep to make sure the fit is right and that they can exceed your expectations. Your leadership and vision will help determine the outcomes. And, great questions simply add depth, add texture and even additional stories that will help solidify a point or topic. Look for a speaker that asks great questions.

Selecting The Right Virtual Keynote Speaker

3) Business development at a conference or event requires that your virtual keynote speaker possess a strong ability to connect virtually with participants throughout the presentation.

Because this is all delivered through a computer monitor, we speakers understand that different senses are being used, then if we were in person. More animation is necessary to keep participants’ interest. And, my virtual keynotes are now often 50 minutes instead of 60 minutes because our virtual attention span is not as long as in-person (plus more distractions when virtual).

speakers understand that different senses

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4) Connecting might make you think of an audience. And, you’re correct. However, I’m talking about a strong, secure, hard-wired connection that runs directly from your computer to your modem.

The #1 reason virtual events fail or are interrupted is because of a poor connection. Professional keynote speakers understand this. Even better, they often have a plan B should your platform crash. This has happened to me twice and within 2-3 minutes we were able to get 300-600 participants on another pre-arranged platform….whew! Wireless is not reliable with presentations. Direct wire or hardwired cable is the way to go.

a good virtual keynote speaker will captivate their audience

5) Slides, video, speech are essential components of many presentations. Using voice/speech variation keeps folks awake.

Slides should be impactful and not too busy. Videos should make a point, hit the target and move the presentation forward.  Sure, messages are reexamined daily and weekly, but we’re now facing facts, numbers and uncertainty that makes a keynote speaker’s messages and delivery paramount. We want to be conscious of the times we’re in, build a strong personal connection and leave participants feeling engaged, motivated and educated.

Virtual keynote speakers understand that moving forward, events are going to go live and in person, virtual or hybrid. It’s our job to be prepared to deliver the content-rich material you need along with actionable takeaways regardless of venue or virtual platform.

These are exciting times. We get to connect virtually and look forward to creating and reestablishing bonds and friendships that had to be paused. That’s okay. We’re strong, we’re resilient, we’re ready virtually and are eager to once again meet together in person.