Meeting and event planners wonder: Who should be a keynote speaker? We understand why: An engaging, thought-provoking keynote can uplift the experience for all attendees. But who should you choose when considering who should be a keynote speaker to deliver that marquee address? Identifying the right expert requires careful evaluation of myriad factors.

Relevance to Event Theme and Audience
Above all else, the keynote’s expertise and speaking topic must be highly relevant to your event’s core theme and resonate with your specific audience. A mismatched keynote will struggle to capture attendees’ interests. Seek speakers who directly align with prominent industry issues, trends, or objectives.

Profile and Credentials
While relative newcomers can certainly inspire, most event planners aim for keynotes with impressive credentials lending credibility. This could mean acclaimed authors, innovative thought leaders, recognizable personalities, or subject matter experts with distinguished careers. Their platform and accomplishments help generate excitement.

Speaking Ability and Reputation
Speaking skills are essential for engaging a large audience. Review samples of prospective keynotes in action. Can they compellingly narrate stories and insights with charisma and stage presence? Do they have a reputation for delivering polished, high-impact presentations repeatedly? Proven speaking talents are a must.

Fresh Perspectives
Though credentials are valuable, avoid rehashing stale ideas and cliché narratives. The most impactful keynotes introduce novel concepts and frameworks that challenge assumptions and shift mindsets. Seek out speakers acclaimed for their new ways of thinking.

Representation and Relatability
With diversity and inclusivity being priorities, planners should consider demographics and representation. A keynote speaker who authentically reflects the audience’s diversity in gender, race, age, background or viewpoints can resonate more genuinely and drive belonging.

Audience Demand
If your budget permits, you may opt for a big-name keynote speaker whose celebrity can boost event promotions and ticket sales. Public figures with mass appeal can be powerful draws. Assess audience demand through surveys.

By strategically evaluating relevant expertise, speaking skills, fresh mindsets, inclusive representation, and participant demand, you can select a keynote speaker poised to deliver participatory value that elevates your event experience. The ideal keynote leaves audiences feeling motivated and equipped with insights to apply.