I’ll cut to the chase here: the role of a keynote speaker has never been more crucial. 

As events continue to transition into dynamic experiences that blend education, inspiration, and entertainment, the choice of speaker can truly make or break the impact of your gathering. At the heart of every successful event lies a captivating keynote speaker who not only informs but also engages, leaving a lasting imprint on every attendee.

After spending the past decade (and then some) in the events industry and having the opportunity to be a keynote speaker for some of the greatest companies in the world, I’ve had firsthand experience in understanding what it takes to not only provide a great keynote talk, but also what “success” looks like when it comes to bringing in a keynote speaker.

The biggest thing I’ve learned over the years is that there’s a major TRUST factor that goes into hiring a keynote speaker.

In other words, the people and organizations who have invited me to speak at their events are essentially taking a bet on me (that is, if they’ve never worked with me before). They’re trusting that I’ll not just show up and speak eloquently to their attendees…but more importantly that I will embody THEIR brand and speak in a way that inspires their people and leaves lasting impact in a positive way. 

I know it can be challenging to find someone to be a part of your event that just “fits”, because let’s be honest – it’s just not that simple. That’s why today I want to share with you 3 things that, as a keynote speaker myself, I would recommend you look for when you’re hiring a keynote speaker for your event.


Consider this a “checklist” of sorts, and I can promise you that if you ensure your candidate meets all of these qualifications, they’ll be a big blessing to your event. 

PS - be sure to really read what I share in each of the categories below…because it might not be what you think!


Expertise & Relevance:

Many people might try to convince you that you need to hire a keynote speaker who has eons of experience in your particular field or industry. I’d dare to argue with that and say that expertise in connecting with a crowd (more on this in the next section) ranks higher than expertise in any given field. For example, I don’t think you need someone who knows the ins and outs of technology in order to create lasting impact with your team. Now, of course, this does not apply IF your event is solely focused on said field/industry alone. My point is, combining general relevance of your event’s purpose with expertise in connecting with an audience has a much greater chance of empowering them than a boring talk that is all about said industry. A great keynote speaker will be able to provide just the right amount of relevant information alongside engagement & powerful communication skills. 

In summary, A keynote speaker may have all the expertise in the world, but if they can't communicate effectively, their message will fall flat.


Engagement & Communication Skills:

Speaking of engagement and communication, this is absolutely the pinnacle of what a great keynote speaker can offer your event! A great speaker should be able to connect with the audience on an emotional level using storytelling, humor, and interactive elements to keep them engaged from start to finish. Remember, the way a speaker delivers their message is just as important as the message itself. We’ve all been to a boring event before - that’s the opposite of what a keynote speaker should drive at your event. I always love looking out into the crowd from the stage and not seeing any cell phones pulled out (except for those being used to take notes). What a great feeling to know that your crowd is actually enjoying what you’ve invested in, right? Another great thing to look for when hiring a keynote speaker that will make the engagement piece a slam dunk is whether or not they can provide material like workbooks, etc. These “extras”truly do make a difference because they encourage your attendees to dig into the content, and remember it for days to come (like when they see that workbook laying on their desk, etc)!


Consider watching videos of the speaker(s) you’re contemplating (here’s a great example 😎), if possible, and look to see if their style and charisma align with the vision of your event. 


Authenticity & Relatability:

In a world inundated with “polished personas” and overly-scripted performances, authenticity will make a noticeable difference in the impact of your event.. When choosing a keynote speaker, look beyond the surface and seek out individuals who are unapologetically themselves – raw, real, and relatable. Why? Because audiences crave connection, and nothing creates a deeper connection than a speaker who is REAL. 


Trust me – audiences can quickly sense when a speaker is being insincere or simply going through the motions. A speaker who shares personal stories, vulnerabilities, and real-life experiences will resonate more deeply with your audience and leave a lasting impression. 

And if you’re wondering how to recognize this in a keynote speaker before hiring them, just watch how they show up to a meeting with you. You’ll feel it, I promise! 

BONUS: This one might seem like a no-brainer, but when you’re hiring a keynote speaker, look to see what others have said about working with them! Reviews carry a TON of weight, and will shed real insight on what it looks like to bring an individual into the mix of your event. Here’s an example of what I mean!

Choosing the right keynote speaker is a critical decision that can greatly impact the success of your event. I want to encourage you that there are a ton of great speakers out there, and certainly a great variety to choose from when hiring a keynote speaker for your next event. 

As you go through the searching and selection process, I hope these key factors empower you to feel confident in your decision of who you bring to your event! And if you’re interested in allowing ME to engage with the crowd at your next event, well, I’d be honored to come alongside you and create unforgettable engagement and impact. Click here to reach out and learn more about my availability throughout 2024 and beyond.