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9 Steps to Prepare a Keynote Presentation Like a Pro

Before your next presentation, it’s important to learn the 9 steps to prepare a keynote presentation. Presenting a keynote is an opportunity to create awareness of yourself, your brand, and what you’re an expert in.

Only the selected few get this opportunity. When you research online, you’ll realize there are online rankings of world-famous keynote speakers. That should tell that preparing for your presentation is critical and determines how successful you’ll be in front of your audience.

Follow these nine steps to make your next keynote presentation remarkable.

Steps to Prepare a Keynote Presentation

1. Define Your Objective and Message

Alexander Gregg once said, "There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience."

The quote spells out the importance of taking your time to define the message and objective of your keynote presentation. Your message should first make an impact on you. You’ll know the message is right when you feel that even you have something to learn from it.

You will also prepare an impactful message for your presentation if you understand the theme of your speech. A keynote speech can have one of these themes:

  • Motivational

  • Educational

  • Entertaining

Understanding the theme of your message ensures you are in an excellent position to deliver real value to your audiences. It will allow you to craft a speech that contains a message you believe in and shows you know the subject matter.

Note: as a keynote speaker, your presentation's theme must align with the audience and the event's theme. For example, it would be best to go with an educational theme for your presentation at a product launch event. Remember, the event's theme also determines the type of audience you can expect to be listening to your speech.

2. Know Your Audience

Steps to Prepare a Keynote Presentation

You want your keynote presentation to wow the audience. The way to do that is to learn who these people are. Who will be attending the event? What motivates them? You need to answer these questions so you can align your message with the audience.

A wrong choice of message and words for your keynote speech may mess up the event. For this reason, you have to constantly ask yourself how the target audience will relate to your subject matter.

Another element that will shape your presentation's success is how fast you can build rapport with your audience. Therefore, you should ask yourself what you want your audience to take from your speech.

In this regard, knowing your audience alone is not enough. You need to understand their specific needs and interests to stand a chance of impacting them. As mentioned earlier, understanding the event's theme may help you understand what kind of audience you will be addressing. It will also help you get clues about the target audience's needs.

Note: Find a way of capturing the needs of your target audience in your keynote speech. That’ll help you build a rapport with them easily. For example, talk about the secrets of social media marketing in a digital marketing event.

3. Research Your Topic

A keynote speech topic is not something that you pick randomly. Spend enough time to research and brainstorm several alternatives. Luckily, you already have your target audience figured out. Therefore, researching a topic that best fits this specific group shouldn't be a hard task.

For example, choose a topic that addresses your audience’s challenges. If you’re in a digital marketing event, talk about the challenges businesses are facing on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

Choose a topic with enough talking points that allow you to explain your facts with practical, real-life examples. Audiences love speeches that use real-life examples to explain ideas.

4. Develop a Presentation Structure

Steps to Prepare a Keynote Presentation

You only got a few seconds at the beginning of your presentation to hook your audience. To achieve this, develop a presentation outline that’ll help you design and deliver your keynote speech. Your outline should help you achieve the following in your keynote presentation:

  • Order your ideas or presentation points based on the level of importance

  • Highlight the vital structural elements of your speech, like the introduction, body, and conclusion

  • Link these elements together to allow for a logical flow of ideas

  • Make it easy for you to rehearse before the actual presentation

  • Allow you to allocate just the right amount of time for each point depending on its level of importance

5. Make Your Presentation Visually Attractive

As a keynote speaker, aim at keeping the audience hooked from the beginning to the end. To achieve this, ensure your presentation remains lively to the end by using visual elements.

Graphs, charts, images, and videos will help enhance your message and maintain your presentation entertaining. Your visual aids will have an even bigger impact if you blend them with the examples in your presentation. Use these tools to drive your message home.

6. Practice, Practice, Practice

Public speaking is a professional game. Like professional athletes, lots of practice leads to perfection. That said, we cannot overemphasize how often and why you have to keep rehearsing your speech before the presentation. Rehearse till you have mastered every content of your presentation.

Then rehearse again until you are comfortable and feel that the content has become part of you. Make technology your friend when conducting the rehearsals.

Don't be afraid to record yourself and review the recordings to see what you aren't doing right. Keep doing this until even you are confident in yourself and how you are sharing the message with your audience.

Practice will significantly pay off during your actual presentation. You will be natural during the actual event. The reward for you is your presentation will be interactive and lively for the audience.

7. Personalize the Presentation with Real Stories

The advantage of practicing enough is that you become natural and feel confident. Confident to the extent you will not be afraid to develop a relationship with your audience.

The best way to do this is by creating an emotional bond with your audience. As seen from the best keynote speakers in the world, nothing does this well than sharing a personal story.

A personal story helps you develop trust with your audience as it gives them a chance to learn something new about you. It also makes them bond with you because they probably share a similar problem or liking.

8. Keep it Brief

An important rule in public speaking is never to test your audience's levels of patience. Like any great stand-up comedian, you always want to exit the stage on a high. That means you need to keep things brief to keep the audience attached to your message.

For example, if you are a keynote speaker at a product launch event, part of your mission is to get the audience to love and probably test the new product. Therefore, keep your speech short, show the audience how the product works, and then end by explaining a feature that’ll get the audience excited about the product.

9. Ask for Feedback

Steps to Prepare a Keynote Presentation

There is always room for improvement in public speaking. Therefore, always ask for feedback from your audience, mentors, friends, and clients. It’ll help you improve your skills.

It is easier to get feedback these days, especially when using social media platforms. Have pages where you share your keynote presentations and get the feedback you need from the comment section.

Start Preparing Your Next Keynote Speech Now

Now that you have a plan or a map for your journey to becoming a pro keynote speaker, start using these tips to prepare your next speech. Each of these tips is a tool to help you become one of the world's most incredible keynote speakers. We get it if you’re too busy to prepare your speech by yourself. Choose one of our administrative packages here and get in touch to get started.


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