The type of expertise a keynote speaker has says a lot about the level of information and influence the audience will get after the speech. Carefully select who you are going to hire because one type of speaker does not fit all types of audience.
They are keynote speakers who don’t have particular expertise but still get invited to a lot of events because they are excellent communicators and motivators. They can clearly explain ideas that cannot be explained by data alone. Book authors usually fall on this category.
What’s great about them is that they help an organization achieve its goal by pointing numerous people to one direction at the same time. They influence easily because they do not give people the burden of becoming good at one specific thing like lecturers do. Rather, they motivate people to work harder and improve productivity without going into the details.
They are specialists on particular subjects, so they can be hired to help the audience learn specific skills. While generalists influence people, it’s more appropriate to say that gurus teach. Some of them are not as good as generalists when it comes to public speaking, but their knowledge on their field of specialization cannot be underestimated.
These keynote speakers tend to be more expensive since they are practicing experts. However, they also usually agree to longer speaking services, such as for a whole day of training workshop.
These keynote speakers are idealists, philosophers, visionaries, and experts in their field but have decided to get out of the box to challenge the status quo normally for social or political reasons. For instance, a veterinarian may be considered a guru but he becomes an advocate when he uses his expertise to fight for animal rights. Typically, they are part of non-government and non-profit organizations.
What’s really good about them is that they are credible and relevant at the same time. However, they may not be a good choice if they refuse to compromise a principle that directly opposes that of the organization. You can’t hire an animal rights advocate if you belong to a cosmetics company that does product testing on animals.
These keynote speakers are more of a thinker rather than a doer. They observe, analyze, and give opinions rather than take part in the industry where the organization belongs to. Nevertheless, they’ve analyzed a lot of cases in the past that they can easily say what’s good and what’s bad. That makes them a good choice if you want your organization to realize something and validate some practices.
Political analysts who are not politicians and film reviewers who are not actors or directors are considered critics.
They are entertainers more than experts. Essentially, they are generalists who specialize in motivational speaking, do not focus on one industry, and know a lot about making their audience laugh. They may not be the first choice for formal events and corporate events, but they can be equally effective in influencing people as the other types of speakers.
What’s great about them is that they get the audience to listen, something that many gurus, advocates, and critics cannot effectively do.
They are famous. That’s the only thing that matters most of the time. They may not be as credible as the other types of speakers, but they easily get attention and make a speech more memorable. Many celebrities hired to deliver keynote speeches do not write their own speech of course. That gives the organizer a chance to inject their own script to the presentation. Hence, they function more like a spokesperson rather than a real speaker.
They are business executives who often give talks. They are credible because they have authority, experience, and expertise. However, many of them agree to speaking engagements for networking and marketing.