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5 Factors That Can Ruin a Great Speech

By Joel Garfinkle

Travelling on the road as a keynote speaker is more than just climbing aboard a plane, delivering a speech to a large group of people, and heading back home.

To make a keynote speech truly transformative, it takes more than just a professional motivational speech. A lot of intricate factors have to come together to make your keynote presentation a genuinely satisfying experience for every member of the audience. For starters, make sure your host knows how to introduce you as a keynote speaker by sharing a brief bio.

When you’re an in-demand keynote speaker who’s on the road a lot, you might be required to speak in front of groups of people ranging from 25 to 1025. This means delivering your keynote seminars in anything from small corporate boardrooms to large convention centers.
Making the room work for you is essential to your success. Here are five important factors to keep in mind that can make or break even a really good speech:

  1. Make sure the room is set up so that everyone can see you. This means not having any obstructions in the way that can block a person’s view, requiring them to move their head from side to side to get a glimpse of you. Move chairs closer to the stage if possible to encourage interaction and make eye contact. At times, there will be certain factors beyond your control, but strive to do your best.
  2. Test the microphone and sound system. Nothing kills the mood more than calling in technical support when you have the audience at the edge of their seats. In smaller groups, if a microphone is not available, speak loudly and clearly.  It’s a good idea to move around and let your voice travel around the room.
  3. Is your audience comfortable? A room that’s too hot or has the air conditioner blaring can make your audience uncomfortable enough to distract them from what they’ve given up time to attend. Ask the event organizers to adjust the temperature to make sure you and your listeners are comfortable.
  4. Walking around freely is critical. Although some motivational speakers can be effective standing in one spot, moving around the room helps to keep the audience engaged. Make sure you’re set up to allow movement. If you don’t need a podium, have it removed so all the focus is on you.
  5. Have the lighting adjusted. This is one factor that you’ve got to get right. Lighting helps put you in the spotlight–literally. The focus needs to be on you, and proper lighting allows you to do that. The people who hired you want you to deliver a great speech to kick off their event; make sure you have what you need to deliver that and more.

Want your event to be a stellar success where the keynote speaker over-delivers? Hire one of the top keynote speakers in the nation, who’s been on the road delivering keynotes that engage the audience and create massive transformation for more than ten years.

Copyright © 2012 Joel Garfinkle, All Rights Reserved. Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S., and the author of 7 books, including Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. He has worked with many of the world’s leading companies, including Google, Deloitte, Amazon, Ritz-Carlton, Gap, Cisco, Oracle, and many more. Subscribe to his Fulfillment at Work Newsletter and receive the FREE e-book, "41 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!"

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